Five GCC firms named in new list of 'global challengers'

Emirates Global Aluminum, Etihad Airways, Etisalat, Qatar Airways, and SABIC hailed for efforts in reshaping their industries
Five GCC firms named in new list of 'global challengers'
Etisallat is one of five GCC-based companies named in the BCG report.
By Staff writer
Fri 19 Aug 2016 12:00 AM

Five GCC-based companies have been named in a new global study that highlights firms that have reshaped the landscape of their industries and geographic markets.

Emirates Global Aluminum, Etihad Airways, Etisalat, Qatar Airways, and Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) are included in the report by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

The 2016 BCG report identifies a total of 100 fast-growing companies that are from emerging markets and are shaking up the global economy through success overseas.

"The global challengers are the leading edge of a much larger group of companies from emerging markets that, despite economic uncertainty, are powering ahead with confidence and ambition," said Cristiano Rizzi, partner and managing director in BCG's Dubai office.

The report said that from 2009-2014, the 2016 global challengers from the Middle East have grown about 1.5 times in revenue size - and some companies such as Emirates Global Aluminum and Qatar Airways have even doubled in size.

Overall, global challengers from the region have witnessed a revenue rise from approximately $80 billion to $133 billion - which constitutes nearly 6 percent of the Middle East's $2.2 trillion GDP.

Moreover, the report said they have managed to maintain higher gross margins and revenue growth ratess than many emerging markets such as Latin America and Africa.

"Challengers from the Middle East have been particularly successful in delivering growth and profitability - and most have also managed to create exceptional shareholder value, especially compared to their local and global peers," added Mirko Rubeis, partner and managing director in BCG's Dubai office.

"In fact, in terms of profits, between 2005 and 2014, global challengers from the region achieved a growth rate approximately 1.5 times greater than S&P 500 companies and global peers."

This year, the Middle East is also home to two 'graduate' companies - Saudi Aramco and Emirates Airlines. These international players - both of whom were featured in the 2014 roster of 'graduates' - are becoming true global leaders in their respective fields, said the report.

It added that Middle Eastern carriers make up 67 percent of BCG's airline-specific list of global challengers.

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