US dominates global company rankings

The US is home to more than half of the top 100 global companies, which have shrunk in size for the first time since the financial crisis, according to research from PwC which shows that technology companies have now outpaced the financial services sector

The firm’s Global Top 100 ranking calculates that the market capitalisation of the 100 largest companies globally decreased significantly, down 4% ($668bn/£502bn) compared to 31 March 2015.  The main drivers for the fall were Chinese companies, which were heavily affected by market conditions in China over the year, and Europe, which struggled with economic growth. 

The decrease was partially offset with an increase of US representation, up by $314bn. The US now accounts for more than half of the Top 100 (54 companies) and represents 62% of the overall market capitalisation.

Apple retains pole position for the fifth year in a row, but a $121bn (17%) decrease in market cap sees the gap with second ranked Alphabet narrow from $350bn last year to just $86bn, PwC analysis shows.

The global top three are now technology companies: Apple, Alphabet and Microsoft, closely followed by Facebook in sixth position.

Europe accounts for just 24 companies (down seven compared to 2009 and down 17 compared to 2008), and only 19% of the overall market capitalisation. 

China/Hong Kong total market capitalisation decreased by 20% compared to last year - though all 11 companies survived - as market values were strongly impacted by the weak performance of Chinese markets.

The UK retained its third position with seven UK companies in the Top 100, despite a small decrease in some valuations.

Clifford Tompsett, head of the IPO Centre at PwC, said: ‘The US has extended its leading position by using their global reach, financial strength and ability to innovate to their advantage.

‘We can also see that bigger companies have proven more resilient than average, with the exception of some natural resources companies, as despite uncertain market conditions and growth perspectives, 91 companies from 2015 remained on the list as of at 31 March 2016 – a stable level compared to previous years.’ 

Pat Sweet |Reporter, Accountancy Daily [2010-2021]

Pat Sweet was the former online reporter at Accountancy Daily and contributor to the monthly Accountancy magazine, pub...

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