German companies more and more important

The top ten of the world’s most valuable companies are not dominated by US companies any more. European and Chinese companies are gaining more and more importance. As of the end of 2007 there were four Chinese, four US and two European companies among the top ten of those companies with the highest market capitalization. At the end of 2006 the USA were still dominating this hit list with five companies. These findings are the result of a study carried out by the Ernst & Young auditing and consulting firm.

In the group of the 100 most valuable companies the market capitalization of Chinese companies doubled over the past year (+123%) while that of US companies in this same group fell by 10%. Among the top 100 there are also seven German corporate groups while one year ago there were just four of them.

The by far most valuable company as of the end of 2007 was PetroChina with a market capitalization of 724 billion US dollar, followed by Exxon Mobil (512 billion US dollars). The number of Chinese companies among the top 100 most valuable companies in the world rose from seven to ten in only one year. Thus, China moved up in third position behind the leader USA with 32 companies (2006: 45) and Great Britain which has 11 companies in the top 100 (2006: 9). According to experts, however, it still remains to be seen whether these breathtaking market capitalizations of Chinese companies will remain at this high level in the future.

Currently there are 46 corporate groups from Europe among the top 100 and 32 from North America. At the end of 2006 North-American companies still dominated this hit list. Thus, over the past year the importance of US companies on the stock exchanges fell significantly. One reason is said to be the weak dollar. Other reasons invoked by experts from Ernst & Young are the weak development of the US economy, the crisis in the real estate business and other problems resulting from it.

The Asian continent is represented by 17 companies in the top 100 companies with the highest market capitalization. (also 17 in 2006). The importance of Japanese companies fell in 2007. Thus, there were only four Japanese companies in 2007 among those companies with the highest market capitalization while at the end of 2006 Japan was still represented by eight companies.

Germany is represented by seven companies in this hit list (only four in 2006). In the country ranking Germany moved up from the seventh to the fifth position – behind the USA, Great Britain, China and France. However, experts think that given their economic importance German companies are still not adequately represented in this group of most valuable companies. Out of the world’s 100 companies with the highest turnover there are 13 from Germany while in the hit list of most valuable companies Germany is only represented by 7 companies. GERMAN