The market capitalisation of the 100 largest listed companies in the world declined by 15%, representing USD 3,9 trillion în Q1 2020, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, after an increase of 20% in March – December 2019, according to PwC’s Global Top 100 companies.
The companies in the Oil & Gas sector were hit hardest.
As a result of this evolution, between 31 March 2019 and 31 March 2020, for which the ranking is made, the market value of the 100 largest listed companies in the world reached USD 21.5 trillion, 2% up from the previous corresponding period.
Energy and the financial sector, the biggest declines. At the opposite pole, utilities, technology and health
In the first three months of 2020, all sectors declined. The most affected was oil and gas, down 37%, followed by finance by 23%.
The smallest decreases were registered by the utilities companies, of 1%, technology, which lost 11% of the market capitalization, and by the consumer service companies, with minus 6%.
The latter’s evolution was supported by the 16% (USD 23 billion) growth of Netflix, one of the ten companies whose market value increased during that period.
Top 10 most valuable companies. Saudi Aramco ranks first
Saudi Aramco joined the Global Top 100 this year having undertaken the largest IPO in history in December 2019. Saudi Aramco entered the list in first position and has retained this position ever since, with a market capitalisation at 31 March 2020 of USD 1,6 trillion.
Saudi Aramco has thus surpassed last year’s leader, Microsoft, which is now on second place, followed by Apple.
Even with the COVID-19 disruption, the market capitalization of Microsoft and Apple each exceeded USD 1 trillion as of March 2020. The performance of Amazon, placed on fourth place, was boosted by a surge in demand created by movement restrictions.
The world’s top 10, made up mainly of technology and e-commerce companies, is completed by Alphabet, Alibaba, Facebook, Tencent, Berkshire and Johnson & Johnson.
Even with the impact of COVID-19, Tesla was the biggest riser in the three months to March 2020, of 28%, at the opposite pole is Citigroup, with a decrease of 49%.
The US continues to dominate at the regional level
For the sixth consecutive year, the US ranks first, having more than half (57) of the companies in the top followed by Europe, with 21 companies, China and its regions, with 12 companies.
By region, European companies in the global Top 100 experienced the most significant reduction in Q1 2020, by 25% (USD 956 billion).
The market capitalization of American companies in the ranking decreased by 14% (USD 2.2 trillion), and that of Chinese companies by 11%. Brazil, Australia and South Africa no longer appear in the ranking, after the exit of Petrobras, BHP and Naspers.
Unicorns value is growing
Regarding the unicorns, the value of the Top 100 Unicorns grew by 5% to USD 853 billion as at 31 March 2020.
The outlook for unicorns remains positive in the medium term. Some public companies have seen a surge in demand since COVID-19 took hold which has translated into valuation growth, particularly technology / technology enabled and health care businesses – sectors where unicorns are well represented.
Similarly to the Global Top 100, the US dominates the Top 100 unicorns, representing half of the list in terms of number of companies and value, China ranks second with 26 companies and Europe is on third place, with ten companies, of which six from Great Britain and three from Germany.