Oil company Saudi Aramco joined the Global Top 100 this year in first place having undertaken the largest initial public offering in history in December and has retained this position since then.   Photo: Reuters
Oil company Saudi Aramco joined the Global Top 100 this year in first place having undertaken the largest initial public offering in history in December and has retained this position since then. Photo: Reuters

SA no longer features on Top 100 companies list

By Philippa Larkin Time of article published Jul 3, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - Brazilian, South African and Australian companies no longer feature in the Global Top 100, according to analysis by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) released yesterday.

Brazil’s oil firm Petrobras, Australian mining group BHP Billiton and South Africa’s media giant Naspers, after the spin-off of Prosus and listing it on Euronext Amsterdam, dropped off the list. 

The Global Top 100 companies by market capitalisation increased by 20 percent from March to December 2019,  the report found.

PwC said the market capitalisation of these firms fell by 15 percent from December 2019 to March 2020 due to the Covid-19 crisis.

“This dual analysis seeks to provide a clearer picture of how the world’s biggest companies were performing before the Covid-19 crisis created an unprecedented impact on global markets and signs of how they responded in the early days of the crisis,” PwC said. 

The report said although the market capitalisation of the Global Top 100 companies fell by $3.9 trillion (R67.67 trillion), or 15 percent, to $21.4 trillion from December 31, 2019, to 

March 31, 2020, the represented companies performed relatively well compared to their industry peers.

“It’s an early indication that, even as they pick their winners and losers between and within sectors, investors value a combination of the resilience and defensive qualities of the larger companies, along with their scope to invest in the aftermath,” the report said. 

Even with Covid-19 disruption, the market capitalisation of Microsoft and Apple each exceed $1 trillion as of March.

Although e-commerce firm Amazon was valued at $971bn in March, PwC said it had since exceeded the $1 trillion mark due to a surge in demand for online shopping created by movement restrictions put in place to contain Covid-19.

Oil firm Saudi Aramco joined the Global Top 100 this year in first place having undertaken the largest initial public offering in history in December, and had retained this position since then.

Meanwhile, media-services provider Netflix moved from being a top 10 faller from March to December 2019 (market capitalisation 9 percent) to the second-biggest riser through to March (plus 16 percent).

Car maker Tesla entered the Global Top 100 and was a top 10 riser in both periods, with its market capitalisation doubling to $96bn.

However, European companies in the Global Top 100 experienced the most significant reduction in relative terms in the three months to March, with market capitalisation falling by 25 percent or $956bn.

The US continued to dominate the Global Top 100 in terms of number of companies in the list and market capitalisation, however, with a $2.204bn, or 14 percent, reduction from December 2019 to March 2020.

China and its regions, the second-largest contributor to the Global Top 100 with 14 companies, lost one company in the year, widening the gap with the US.

The report also found that the value of the Top 100 Unicorns grew by 5 percent to $853bn as at March.

“Prior to Covid-19, a healthy pipeline of unicorn IPO candidates was building, including Airbnb and Didi Chuxing. 

“However, the combination of the Covid-19 fallout, along with other trends affecting unicorns, is quite likely to result in delays in unicorn IPOs in the near term,” the report said.

“It is clear that public market investors are becoming more challenging of high venture capital valuations and have sharpened their focus on  the pathway to profitability and cash generation. Recent high-profile unicorns – both those that did make it all the way to IPO and those that didn’t – have contributed to a heightened sense of scepticism among some investors,” it said.

The US dominates the Top 100 Unicorns, representing half of the list in terms of number of companies and value. Behind the US is China and its regions, accounting for 26 or 35 percent by value.

Mainland China internet company, and parent company of TikTok,  Bytedance, maintained its position as the most valuable unicorn, with a valuation of $75bn.

BUSINESS REPORT 

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