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Mayne: our biz performance well behind Olympic record

As Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard welcomed back most of the Australian Olympic team in Sydney this morning, the global debate on what drives medal counts continues apace.

We’ve seen analysis looking at medals measured against population, GDP and direct government spending on elite sporting programs. But market capitalisation of listed companies is arguably the best public measure of who is creating private wealth in our globalised world — and it correlates reasonably well against the Olympics medal count.

Australia certainly did better at the Olympics that we do in globalised business competition. We finished 10th in golds and seventh overall with 35 medals, yet we only had one company (BHP) out of 45 globally which were worth more than $US100 billion on the first trading day after the London 2012 closing ceremony.

In terms of where those 45 companies are domiciled, the US still dominates. Here’s the tally of companies worth more than $US100 billion on August 13:

  • US: 23
  • China: 6
  • UK: 5
  • Switzerland: 3
  • Brazil: 2
  • Netherlands: 1
  • Japan: 1
  • France: 1
  • South Korea: 1
  • Russia: 1
  • Australia: 1

It is often worth taking a snapshot of comparative market capitalisations at a particular time and returning to them later. For instance, a Crikey story from January 2009 shows how our all-powerful Big Four banks ranked very well among the US majors in the middle of the GFC.

Therefore, may the record show that these were the 45 companies worth more than $US100 billion as the world came down from the climax of the London closing ceremony …

  1. Apple: US IT, software and hardware giant with market capitalisation of $US585 billion.
  2. ExxonMobil: Texas-based energy giant with market capitalisation of $US407 billion.
  3. PetroChina: state-controlled Chinese energy giant listed on Hong Kong exchange with a market capitalisation of $US256 billion.
  4. Microsoft: Seattle-based software giant with market capitalisation of $US255 billion.
  5. Walmart: America and the world’s biggest retailer with a market capitalisation of $US248 billion.
  6. China Mobile: largest Chinese mobiles company with a market capitalisation of $US238 billion.
  7. ICBC: the biggest Chinese bank has a market capitalisation of $US210 billion.
  8. IBM: US software and systems giant with a market capitalisation of $US227 billion.
  9. General Electric: American industrial icon still running a conglomerate model that has a market capitalisation of $US222 billion.
  10. Chevron: the second most valuable US energy company with a market capitalisation of $US222 billion.
  11. Google: Silicon Valley internet search and advertising giant with market capitalisation of $US216 billion.
  12. AT&T: most valuable US telecoms company with a market capitalisation of $US215 billion.
  13. Berkshire Hathaway: Warren Buffett’s listed investment company has a market capitalisation of $US210 billion.
  14. Nestle: Europe’s largest food company, based in Switzerland, with a market capitalisation of $US200 billion.
  15. Johnson & Johnson: giant US consumer products company with a market capitalisation of $US189 billion.
  16. Royal Dutch Shell: Europe’s biggest energy company has a market capitalisation of $US184 billion.
  17. Procter & Gamble: giant US consumer products company with a market capitalisation of $US183 billion.
  18. Wells Fargo: emerged from the GFC as the most valuable US bank with a market capitalisation of $US179 billion.
  19. Coca-Cola: world’s biggest soft drink company has a market capitalisation of $US177 billion.
  20. BHP-Billiton: Melbourne-based, but 60% foreign-owned, mining giant with a market capitalisation of $US177 billion.
  21. Pfizer: New York-based drugs giant with a market capitalisation of $US177 billion.
  22. China Construction Bank Corp: only a limited free float given dominant government shareholding but based on Hong Kong listing has a nominal market capitalisation of $US172 billion.
  23. Samsung: the most valuable South Korean company with a market capitalisation of $US172 billion.
  24. Novartis: Swiss-based pharmaceutical company with market capitalisation of $US159 billion.
  25. Roche: Swiss-based pharmaceutical giant with market capitalisation of $US156 billion.
  26. HSBC: banking giant based in Hong Kong but with large British ownership and a market capitalisation of $US149 billion.
  27. Vodafone: London-based mobiles giant with a market capitalisation of $US147 billion.
  28. JP Morgan: strongest Wall Street investment bank with a market capitalisation of $US140 billion even after recent $US2 billion hedging loss.
  29. Toyota: the world’s biggest car maker has a market capitalisation of $US140 billion.
  30. Petrobras: Brazilian state-controlled oil giant has a market capitalisation of $US139 billion.
  31. Merck: US pharmaceutical giant with market capitalisation of $US135 billion.
  32. BP: London-based energy mayor with market capitalisation of $US134 billion.
  33. Oracle: US software giant with market capitalisation of $US134 billion.
  34. Intel: US computer chip giant has a market capitalisation of $US132 billion.
  35. Agricultural Bank of China: listed on Hong Kong exchange with market capitalisation of $US130 billion.
  36. Verizon: US telco giant with market capitalisation of $US126 billion.
  37. Total: France’s biggest oil producer and Europe’s number three has a market capitalisation of $US116 billion.
  38. GlaxoSmithKline: largest UK drugs company with market capitalisation of $US115 billion.
  39. Gazprom: Russian gas giant has a market capitalisation of $US115 billion.
  40. PepsiCo: US drinks giant with a market capitalisation of $US112 billion.
  41. British American Tobacco: London-based tobacco giant with a market capitalisation of $106 billion.
  42. Amazon: world’s biggest online retailer has a market capitalisation of $US105 billion.
  43. Unilever: UK-Dutch consumer goods giant with market capitalisation of $US105 billion.
  44. Abbott Laboratories: US pharmaceutical company with market capitalisation of $US104 billion.
  45. Vale: the Brazilian iron ore giant has a market capitalisation of $US101 billion.
1
  • 1
    Ian Brown
    Posted Wednesday, 15 August 2012 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    UK has 5, Germany has none - just goes to show that the domicile of mega companies is not a reliable marker of relative economic performance.

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