Wednesday,22 November, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1203, (26 June - 2 July 2014)
Wednesday,22 November, 2017
Issue 1203, (26 June - 2 July 2014)

Ahram Weekly

Making it to the list

Egypt’s presence on this year’s Forbes list of the top 500 companies in the Arab world has been doubled, reports Noha Moustafa

Al-Ahram Weekly

Forbes Middle East announced its list of the top 500 companies in the Arab world last week from publicly-listed companies on stock exchanges across the Middle East.

Companies from the Gulf topped the list, where the top ten positions were occupied by four companies from Saudi Arabia, three from the UAE, two from Qatar and one from Kuwait.

Topping the list was SABIC, a Riyadh-based manufacturer of petroleum products, with a market value of $94.4 billion, revenues totaling $50.4 billion, net profits of $6.7 billion, and total assets of $90.4 billion. Seventy per cent of the company is owned by the Saudi government.

In terms of overall ranking, Saudi Arabia, the biggest economy in the region, occupied more than one-fifth of the list with 108 entries.

Mohamed Radwan, Executive Director of Pharos Securities, explained that the Gulf domination was predictable as Gulf companies were much bigger in financial terms.

The standards used by Forbes to rate companies include total revenues, net profits, total assets, and market capitalisation. A total of 11 countries are represented on the list.

Egypt ranked fourth in terms of the number of companies on the list, with 60 joining the list this year compared to only 34 last year.

Radwan said that market capitalisation was behind the boost, which saw the number of Egyptian companies almost doubling this year compared to last.

“It is normal that the number of Egyptian companies has increased this year as the Egyptian stock exchange jumped by 83 per cent year-on-year from June 2013 to June 2014,” Radwan said. “The stock market increased by 15 per cent in 2013 and by 25 per cent since the beginning of 2014,” he added.

When the stock market revives, market capitalisation increases and more companies join the list.

Radwan said that the banking, real estate and construction sectors in particular had made huge gains on the market throughout this year.

He anticipated that more Egyptian companies would join the list next year, as more companies are expected to list their shares on the exchange.

Twenty Egyptian industrial companies are on the list, making Egypt the second-largest country in the industrial sector after Saudi Arabia. There are eight companies listed from the banking sector and four service sector companies.

Egypt also leads the healthcare sector on the list, with four companies out of 12 across the region.

Coming in 49th position, but ranked as the first Egyptian company on the list, is the Commercial International Bank (CIB), with a market value of $4.8 billion, revenues of $1.3 billion, net profits of $437.2 million and total assets of $16.4 billion.

“CIB is Egypt’s largest private-sector bank and largest listed corporation,” Radwan said, adding that had it not been for the devaluation of the Egyptian pound, which had affected the bank’s market value, the bank would have had a higher rank.

Telecom Egypt (TE), the state-owned fixed-line operator, was the second Egyptian company on the list, capturing 60th place after it slipped from 45th position in last year’s list, with a market value of $4.2 billion, revenues of $1.6 billion, net profits of $424.8 million and total assets worth $4.7 billion.

The real estate developer Talaat Mustafa (TMG) Holding came third, ranking 89th with a market value of $2.4 billion, revenues of $697 million, net profits of $77.5 million, and total assets worth $4.7 billion.

The list did not include leading Egyptian listed companies such as real estate firm Sixth of October for Development and Investment (SODIC) and investment firms EFG-Hermes and Beltone Financial Holding. This was ascribed to the fact that these companies had reported losses this year.

Overall, companies working in the industrial sector took the lead on this year’s list with 107 companies. The banking sector boasted 101 companies, while the real estate and construction sectors landed in third position with 56 companies.

The services sector came fourth, with 36 companies in the top 500. Food industries contributed 31 companies, the same number as the insurance sector.

Forbes list of the top 500 companies in the Arab world builds on its global list and is based on disclosed financial statements for 2013 and information gathered from stock markets across the region.

Forbes Middle East presented its latest ranking on its website saying that “stock markets are said to be the barometers of an economy, and with Arab stock markets witnessing robust growth from 2013 to date, the economic outlook for Middle Eastern countries is bright.”

The publication said that the list had adopted the financial performance of these companies as of December 2013 as a reference point.

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