Magazine article African Business

Where in the World Is Africa?

Magazine article African Business

Where in the World Is Africa?

Article excerpt

African share prices go up and they go down but the value of the continent's biggest companies remains substantially lower than those in the rest of the world, particularly when the multinationals listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange are taken out of the equation.

The value of the top 25 companies in Asia is $2.4 trillion, or 2.87 times the size of Africa's Top 250 Companies. In the two other main emerging market regions: Latin America's top 15 firms are worth $800bn, or 0.95 times the African Top 250; and the Gulf's top 15 are worth $3.3bn or 0.37 times the African Top 250,

On a per capita basis, Africa and particularly sub-Saharan Africa, is clearly underrepresented in terms of the world's biggest companies. Once South Africa, including its dual-and treble-listed firms, is taken out of the equation, the biggest company in sub-Saharan Africa is Dangote Cement with market capitalisation of $io.5bn. This compares with values of $276.8bn for PetroChina, $i56.3bn for Petrobras, and $76.sbn for Sabic, the biggest companies in each of the other three regions.

Even developing India has three listed companies with values of $4ibn to $43bn: Tata Consultancy Services, Reliance Industries and Oil & Natural Gas.

Another major difference between Africa and the rest of the world is in terms of the geographical spread of their largest companies. A massive 12 of out Asia's 25 biggest companies are Chinese or based in Hong Kong; nine of Latin America's top 15 are Brazilian; and seven out of 15 in the Gulf region are Saudi Arabian. …

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