Last week the magazine African Business published its annual Top 250 Companies report, which ranks Africa’s top firms primarily by market capitalisation.
Its universe incorporates companies that are listed on African stock exchanges, as well as those that are listed on other bourses elsewhere in the world, but are African in origin.
In 2011 when the magazine conducted its survey, the top 250 companies had reported year-on-year growth of 33% in terms of market capitalisation, up from USD 639bn to USD 848bn, underlining the scale of the recovery from the global financial crisis. Yet almost all of those gains have been lost over the past year as the combined value of Africa’s biggest 250 listed firms has fallen to USD 652bn.
This was attributed to fears of a double-dip recession in the industrialised world, as well as ongoing insecurity in Nigeria and political winds of change in north Africa.
Despite big falls in the value of most of Africa’s largest companies, according to the report, the ranking order of the continent’s five largest firms remains the same as last year.
Mining giants BHP Billiton and Anglo American lead the way with market capitalisations of USD 71.5bn and USD 54bn respectively, although these figures represent big falls on last year’s USD 99.4bn and USD 77.2bn.
In the context of such substantial reductions, third-equal-placed SABMiller recorded a value of USD 35bn, almost the same as last year’s USD 35.7bn.
Synthetic fuels producer Sasol and MTN Group of the telecoms sector retain fourth and fifth spots with modest falls in value to USD 32bn and USD 29.5bn.
This year is generally expected to see a rise in the values of Africa’s listed firms, as growth prospects remain buoyant while the global economy has shown signs of an ongoing recovery.Africa's top 20 companies Source: African Business
|Rank||Company name||Country||Industry||Value (Millions US$)|
|1.||BHP Billiton||South Africa||Mining and Metals||71,595|
|2.||Anglo American||South Africa||Mining and Metals||54,351|
|3.||SABMiller||South Africa||Consumer Goods – Food||35,051|
|4.||Sasol||South Africa||Oil and Gas||32,019|
|5.||MTN Group||South Africa||Telecom||29,518|
|6.||Kumba Iron Ore||South Africa||Mining and Metals||19,412|
|7.||Standard Bank Group||South Africa||Banks and Financial||16,407|
|8.||Angola American Platinum||South Africa||Mining and Metals||14,299|
|9.||FirstRand||South Africa||Banks and Financial||14,021|
|10.||Itissalat Al Maghrib||Morocco||Telecom||13,834|
|12.||Absa Group||South Africa||Banks and Financial||11,365|
|13.||Anglogold Ashanti||South Africa||Mining and Metals||11,281|
|14.||Impala Platinum||South Africa||Mining and Metals||11,043|
|15.||Dangote Cement||Nigeria||Construction and Materials||10,565|
|17.||Shoprite Holdings||South Africa||Retail and General Trading||9,164|
|18.||Old Mutual||South Africa||Insurance||8,094|
|19.||Attijariwafa Bank||Morocco||Banks and Financial||7,804|
|20.||Gold Fields||South Africa||Mining and Metals||7,580|
Imara is an investment banking and asset management group renowned for its knowledge of African markets.