South Africa’s biggest companies

Forbes has listed the 2,000 biggest companies in the world smartphone and electronics giants Apple and Samsung leading the pack for global tech companies, while Standard Bank remains the highest ranked company, locally.

Forbes’ list of biggest companies for 2014 is once again dominated by financial institutions and petroleum and energy giants – with the top 3 spaces owned comfortably by Chinese banking giants.

However, technology companies make a strong showing, with 8 tech- and telecom-centric companies listed within the top 50.

In it’s 2014 ranking, 564 companies originate from the USA, with Japan (225) and China (150) have the second and third largest amount of company representation in the list.

“With an increase of 1,054%, mainland China adds more companies to the Global 2000 than any other country in the world since 2003,” Forbes said.

Top 10 biggest global companies (US$ billions)

# Company Sales Profit Assets Market Value
1 ICBC 148.7 42.7 3,124.9 215.6
2 China Construction Bank 121.3 34.2 2,449.5 174.4
3 Agricultural Bank of China 136.4 27.0 2,405.4 141.1
4 JPMorgan Chase 105.7 17.3 2,435.3 229.7
5 Berkshire Hathaway 178.8 19.5 493.4 309.1
6 Exxon Mobil 394.0 32.6 346.8 422.3
7 General Electric 143.3 14.8 656.6 259.6
8 Wells Fargo 88.7 21.9 1,543.0 261.4
9 Bank of China 105.1 25.5 2,291.8 124.2
10 PetroChina 328.5 21.1 386.9 202.0

Feuding smartphone manufacturers Apple and Samsung retain the top showing for tech – with Apple (15th overall) leading some ways ahead of Samsung (22nd). Both companies slipped from their positioning in 2013 (14th for Apple and 20th for Samsung).

In the telecoms sector, American network giant AT&T ranked as the top telecommunications operator, placing 3rd on the tech list and improving one position to 24th overall.

Verizon (26th), China Mobile (28th) and Vodacom‘s parent company, Vodafone (38th) featured high-up on the list – while South African operator MTN Group, which operates in over 20 markets internationally, placed further down the overall list at 378th – down from 345th in 2013

Top 10 biggest global tech companies (US$ billions)

# Company Sales Profit Assets Market Value
15 Apple 173.8 37.0 225.2 483.1
22 Samsung 208.9 27.2 202.8 186.5
23 AT&T 128.8 18.2 227.8 182.7
26 Verizon 120.6 11.5 274.1 197.7
28 China Mobile 102.5 19.8 192.8 184.6
32 Microsoft 83.3 22.8 153.5 343.8
35 IBM 99.8 16.5 126.2 202.5
38 Vodafone 65.1 31.8 235.6 96.9
52 Google 59.7 12.2 110.9 382.5
53 Siemens 99.7 6.0 140.1 114.2

Fifteen South African companies made it onto the list of 2,000 global giants, with banking group Standard Bank leading the way for the country in 287th position.

In 2013, Standard Banks was ranked in 231st position.

Energy and petroleum company, Sasol is the second largest company in the country, with cellular giant MTN placed third.

Other tech-related companies to make the cut are media and Internet house Naspers, as well as Seacom investor, Remgro.

While SAB Miller may have started out as a South African company, the group’s heavy listing is now weighted towards the UK and is thus listed as such. It was ranked as the 213th largest company in the world.

Top 10 biggest South African companies (US$ billions)

# Company Sales Profit Assets Market Value
287 Standard Bank 16.4 1.7 161.4 21.4
321 Sasol 20.1 2.8 24.5 37.0
378 MTN Group 14.1 2.7 21.7 38.1
475 FirstRand 6.3 1.7 85.4 18.8
672 Steinhoff 13.0 0.9 18.5 10.5
688 Sanlam 5.7 0.8 53.3 12.1
857 Naspers 6.1 0.5 12.0 47.0
1006 Bidvest 17.4 0.5 7.3 8.8
1281 Shoprite 10.1 0.4 3.8 8.9
1441 Remgro 2.2 0.7 7.4 9.9

Forbes’ 2,000 biggest companies listing is formulated by analyzing listed companies from across the world and ranking the top 2,000 in four categories: sales, profits, assets and market value.

Each company is given a score based on where they place on each respective list, and the final top 2,000 list is compiled based on a final, aggregated score.

Each of the 2,000 lists has a minimum cutoff value in order for a company to qualify: sales of $4.04 billion; profits of $250.9 million; assets of $8.20 billion; and market value of $4.86 billion.

“A company needs to qualify for at least one of the lists in order to be eligible for the final Global 2000 ranking. This year 3,400 companies were needed to fill out the four lists of 2000, each company qualifying for at least one of the lists,” Forbes said.

See the full list of 2000 biggest companies on Forbes.

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South Africa’s biggest companies