May 19, 2020

Africa's biggest companies

Mobile banking
Bizclik Editor
3 min
Africa's biggest companies

This April saw the unveiling of 2010’s exclusive Forbes Global 2000 – “the biggest, most powerful listed companies in the world”.

Predictably, the U.S. stole the lion’s share and took the top four spots. However, the number of companies from developing nations in the Global 2000 is fast increasing. Although the recession dented the performance of African companies over the past year, in comparison with the developed world, Africa has held up well. In fact Africa, along with mainland China, India and Canada, has gained some significant ground. This year, 34 African enterprises made it onto the list featuring corporations from Egypt, Liberia, Morocco, Nigeria and the ever-powerful South Africa; totaling a combined market value of over $254 billion.

Outside of South Africa, Morocco came next, and with two featured companies, it was Attijariwafa Bank that came in highest at 888th place. Next on the list was Egypt, with Orascom Construction Inds topping the five featured Egyptian firms, in at 942nd place. The one and only Liberian firm featured on the list, Royal Caribbean, came in 1070th place, while Nigeria’s only presence was Zenith Bank, in 1374th place.

But of course, South Africa by far dominated the continent’s list presence with an impressive 25 companies featured, starting from a commendable 177th place. So read on as we review the top five using an equal weighting of sales, profits, assets and market value...

Company: Standard Bank Group
Rank: 177
Country: South Africa
Industry: Banking
Sales ($BN): 16.57
Profits ($BN): 1.55
Assets ($BN): 162.52
Market Value ($BN): 22.08

Up from 223rd on the list in 2009, Standard Bank Group remains Africa's largest corporation, climbing up to 177th position. And with impressive total assets and representation spanning 17 African countries and 16 countries outside of Africa, it’s easy to see why. Despite the economic crisis, Standard Bank has performed extremely well throughout challenging times, maintaining its leading position in Africa.

Company: Sasol
Rank: 298
Country: South Africa
Industry: Oil & Gas Operations
Sales ($BN): 17.84
Profits ($BN): 1.77
Assets ($BN): 18.73
Market Value ($BN): 23.85

Next in the list comes synthetic fuels giant Sasol. An integrated oil and gas company with complementary interests in coal, chemicals and the international development of synthetic-fuel ventures based on its proprietary Fischer-Tropsch technology, this powerful organization is the biggest oil and gas firm in Africa.

Company: FirstRand
Rank: 305
Country: South Africa
Industry: Financial Services
Sales ($BN): 10.93
Profits ($BN): 0.90
Assets ($BN): 104.61
Market Value ($BN): 13.67

Not too far behind the top two, FirstRand is up next. An integrated financial services group structured with critical mass to take advantage of the blurring of boundaries in the financial services industry, this group provides a comprehensive range of products and services to the South African market and niche products in certain international markets.

Company: MTN Group
Rank: 382
Country: South Africa
Industry: Telecommunications Services
Sales ($BN): 10.96
Profits ($BN): 1.64
Assets ($BN): 18.33
Market Value ($BN): 27.31

Just less than 80 places down and MTN Group is up next. A leading provider of communication services, offering cellular network access and business solutions, MTN Group is an internationally known firm, with its core operations in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East. As of the end of December 2008, it had more than 90.7 million recorded subscribers.

Company: Sanlam
Rank: 823
Country: South Africa
Industry: Financial Services
Sales ($BN): 4.95
Profits ($BN): 0.27
Assets ($BN): 34.04
Market Value ($BN): 6.86

The last of our top five features Sanlam, a leading financial services group headquartered in Bellville, providing financial solutions to individual and institutional clients. From a life insurance company established in 1918, this firm has, in short, grown into a diversified one-stop financial services group, offering clients a “journey for life” for their financial needs.

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