The largest companies in the world at a glance: PwC ranking

Aramco is the second largest company in the world for market value

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. An employee in a branded helmet is pictured at Saudi Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia October 12, 2019.

Image used for illustrative purpose. An employee in a branded helmet is pictured at Saudi Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia October 12, 2019.

REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

This week I want to conclude my analysis — started last week — on the economic and financial dynamics linked to the ranking of the top 100 companies in the world by capitalization.

Every year, big-4 auditing firm PwC compiles a list of the 100 biggest companies and in 2021, Apple was still the top one with $1.9 trillion. Such astronomical capitalization is bigger than all of the top tech Chinese companies put together.

It is important to highlight that of the top 100 globally, 59 are from the USA, while 14 are from China. The rest of the world counts 18 companies in Europe, 7 in Asia Pacific, 1 in Saudi Arabia and 1 in Canada. In terms of capitalisation volumes, the USA accounts for 65 per cent of the pie. China claims 13 per cent of the total.

Despite having only 1 company in the top 100, Saudi Arabia Aramco at $1.9 trillion takes up a larger chunk for the pie than the entire Asia Pacific (excluding China).

Aramco is the second largest company in the world for market value. Followed by Microsoft at $1.7 trillion, Amazon at $1.5 trillion, Google’s parent company Alphabet at $1.3 trillion, and Facebook at over $800 billion.

Just to put numbers in context, the GDP of Germany is close to $4 trillion, the same amount of Apple and Aramco’s market capitalisation put together.

In Europe, the largest sector is Health Care, with a capitalisation close to $1 trillion. That falls slightly short of a third of all sectors across all of the 18 companies in Europe, with total value at $3.46 trillion.

Europe has lost a few companies in the top 100 compared to 2020. There are 3 fewer in the UK and 2 from France have dropped off the list.

However, Germany has added 2 more, for a net balance of negative 3 for Europe in the top 100. In terms of company capitalization by country, Switzerland contributes over $800 billion, with Nestle on top at $332 billion and Roche Holdings shortly after at $283 billion.

Europe brings to the world twice as much market value than the entire block of companies — 7 all together — from the Asia Pacific region, namely Japan, South Korea, India and Australia.

The capitalization of the top companies in this region accounts for approximately $1.5 trillion. The first company from this region listed in the top 100 is Samsung Electronics, the 15th largest company in the world.

Toyota come in 32nd at $245 billion. India appears at #58 in the list with Reliance Industries, in the energy sector.

Canada is listed in the top 100 only with #98, the Royal Bank of Canada with a market value of $131 billion. Finance as an industry in USA summed up to China represent a market cap of $2.3 trillion.

The first company in the industry is Berkshire Hathway at #10 with $588 billion in market capitalisation. JPMorgan Chase following at #13 with $465 billion. The two largest financial institutions in the USA exceed $1 trillion in market value.

stefano@virgilli.com 

[The columnist is a member of the International Press Association]

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