By Andy Sambidge
New Forbes ranking ranks Saudi Telecom, Qatar's QNB, Etisalat and Saudi Electricity in top five
Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), the world's largest petrochemicals company, has been named the Arab world's top company in a new ranking released by Forbes Middle East.
The company topped the Top 500 list with $50bn in revenues and an asset base of $90.4bn while Saudi Telecom ranked second.
Qatar National Bank, Abu Dhabi-based telco Etisalat and state-owned utility Saudi Electricity rounded out the top five, Forbes said.
Saudi Arabia had the most companies in the list with 108, followed by Kuwait whose top company was 10th placed National Bank of Kuwait.
A total of 74 companies from the UAE were featured in the list with National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank also ranked among the top 10 companies.
The list was based on last year’s disclosed financial statements, collated from stock markets in the region. Factors considered when creating the list included total revenue, net profits, total assets, and market capitalisation.
Forbes said the combined revenues of the top 500 companies as of December 2013 stood at $383.67 billion, while net profits amounted to $71.68 billion.
The figures showed year-on-year increases of 12 percent and 16.2 percent respectively. Aggregated total assets grew 19 percent to reach $2.64 trillion.
Hannah Stewart, executive editor at Forbes Middle East, said: "These companies are the legacy of our time. They are bringing diversification to the region's economies and carrying that success to international soil.
"Almost every sector was hit by the economic downturn, but this list shows just how far the Middle East has come. The Top 500 Companies in the Arab World is testament to an exciting time here in the Middle East and it is thanks, in part, to the passion and drive of our formidable corporations that this was able to happen."
The largest sector represented in the list was Industrials with 107 companies. The category was topped by Industries Qatar with a market value of $31.3 billion, followed by Saudi Arabian Mining with assets of $17.1 billion. Combined figures for the top 10 total a market value of $61.8 billion and assets of $41 billion.
Banking was the second largest sector with 101 companies listed.
Qatar's QNB topped the list but the UAE dominated the sector, with a total of 23 entries, followed by Jordan with 15 banks. The top 10 banks held a combined total of $703.6 billion in total assets in 2013.
Among the list’s 56 real estate and construction companies, the UAE dominated the top 10, with four entries, including Emaar Properties, Aldar Properties, Arabtec and Union Properties.
A recent article in aleqt.com by abdulhameed al omary exposed the real books of SABIC. He showed that 30+ years on, Sabic is still nursing from the Government. Its feedstock is 7.5% the market price and its electricity is given away at 0.04 USD per kilowatt hour. It is no wonder it would only grow. The scary news is that if Sabic was asked to stand on its own feet, it would lose 2.6 billion USD last year alone. Nice job, the world's largest petrochemicals company.
The article can be read here.