Middle Eastern companies are staking a claim in the big leagues.
As part of Forbes’ yearly list Global 2000: The World’s Largest Public Companies, this year companies from 60 countries have made the list, with 43 of those companies originating in the Middle East.
That is actually 9 companies less than 2017, when at the time 52 companies from the region had made the list. This could be attributed to the relative drop in oil prices, as well as continuing uncertainty following the ongoing Syria situation and refugee crisis.
The Global 2000
Forbes explains, “The Global 2000 ranking is based on a composite score from equally-weighted measures of revenue, profits, assets, and market value.”
Forbes assembles their annual list from four individual lists of the 2000 biggest companies under a particular classification: sales 2000, profits 2000, assets 2000, and market value 2000. However, there is a minimum cutoff value in order for a company to make those sub-lists. Sales cutoff is $4.47 billion, profits cutoff is $333.3 million, assets cutoff is $10.72 billion, while market value cutoff rests at $6.55 billion. Any company hoping to make the final list needs to make it onto one of these sub-lists first.
Saudi leads the pack
The total revenues, profits, assets and market value of these 43 Middle Eastern companies are $220.9 billion, $48.4 billion, $2,320.5 billion and $636.9 billion respectively, Forbes reports.
As it currently stands, Saudi Arabia tops the list of companies from the Middle East with 15 companies, followed by 10 from the U.A.E., six from Qatar, four from Morocco, three from Kuwait, two from Lebanon and one each from Bahrain, Jordan, and Oman.
Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC), a diversified manufacturing company, active in chemicals and intermediates, industrial polymers, fertilizers, and metals, ranked 1stamong Middle Eastern companies, following a 6.6% increase in sales from the previous year. Its values arrived at $41.9 billion for sales, $5 billion for profits, $90.5 billion net assets, and $91.8 billion for market value.
In first place among the UAE companies is the First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB). National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) topped for Kuwait. Bank Audi came first among Lebanon’s dual-company representation.
With the troubling amount of national debt in Jordan, it is no surprise that only one of their companies made the list. Trading Economics reports that Jordan’s national debt sums up to about 95% of the country’s GDP.
A companion list, Forbes’ Global 2000 Growth Champions, had 11 countries from the Middle East showing significant growth in the region back in 2017, most prominently Saudi’s Jabal Omar Development Company (JODC). Of the 11, five are based in Saudi Arabia, while four are from the U.A.E., two are from Qatar and one is based in Lebanon.
Below is the full list of the 43 ME companies that made the Global 2000 list.