Sunday, 9 August 2009

The world's largest companies

Which is the world’s largest company by market capitalisation now ? No don’t look – just guess.

Lists of the worlds most valuable companies, largest by sales, etc etc are always dodgy – they rarely represent the truest picture as there are simply too many factors that aren’t common around the world for such comparisons. And they change all the time. But the latest list does produce some telling commentary on the way the world is headed.

This is the top 10 in terms of market capitalization as of last week (Source : Bloomberg)

1. PetroChina (China)
2. Exxon Mobil (US)
3. Ind & Comm Bank of China (China)
4. China Mobile (China)
5. Microsoft (US)
6. Wal-Mart (US)
7. China Constr Bank (China)
8. Johnson &Johnson (US)
9. Proctor & Gamble (US)
10. Royal Dutch Shell (UK/NL)

The obvious thing that stares in the face is the appearance of China at the top half of the table. Granted, the stock exchanges there have gone wildly up, with every indication of another bubble, that the government still owns most of the shareholdings in these companies with the free floating stock only a small percentage. But still ….. Did I hear somebody say G2 ?

The other obvious stunner is the disappearance of the Japanese companies. The first Japanese entry is Toyota at 25. There was a period when the majority in the Top 10 was Japanese.

But this list hides the truly biggest company in the world. By any yardstick it will be way ahead of the others. It doesn’t feature on any list because it publishes no numbers - doesn’t have to, because its state owned. But in terms of size, it’s a giant that will make the others in this list look like pygmies. It is estimated to be some 20 times the size of Exxon Mobil, number 2 in the list above, in terms of output.

The largest company in the world, on most measures, has to be Saudi Aramco.


Anonymous said...

Imagine that! The real biggest company overshadow the published the real company?!! That was one interesting read.

I am surprised there were no comments for info as interesting as this! I was away, hence my comments came in late.(Yeah, sounds totally lame!)

Ramesh said...

Thanks thoughtful train. This was a Sunday post and Sundays aren't meant for reading busines stuff, are they ?

Anonymous said...

Of course they are!! :-) I take no holidays from reading blogs. The freedom to do your own thing that you spoke about is at work here!

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