Global top 100 companies (2016)

In this report we have ranked the top 100 global companies by market capitalisation and compared how the list has evolved from March 2009 to March 2016. We have identified the risers and the fallers, looked at sector dynamics and presented a view on how the global landscape has changed.

  • US$15,577bn

    Total market capitalisation of the Top 100 companies globally.

  • 91 companies

    91 companies from 2015 remained on the list – a stable level compared to previous years.

  • Top 10

    The US extended its leading position and market capitalisation increased from 57% to 62%. All the Top 10 are now US companies.

Key highlights

  • Decrease in market cap
  • Driving the decrease
  • Top performing sectors
Decrease in market cap

Decrease in market cap

The top 100 companies market cap decreased by 4% compared to 31 March 2015, the first significant decrease since 2009. China, the second largest contributor to the Top 100, is the main driver of the decrease with a loss of US$417bn, reflecting the performance of Chinese markets this year. The decrease is partially offset by the US gaining $314bn reflecting the strong performance of Alphabet (ex-Google), Amazon and Microsoft, along with the acquisition of Heinz by Kraft Foods (the consolidated entity, Kraft-Heinz, having entered the Top 100 this year) have fuelled US growth.

Driving the increase

Driving the decrease

China/Hong Kong had been relatively stable from 2009 to 2014, however in 2016, the 11 companies' market capitalisation was adversely impacted by the weak performance of Chinese markets. Europe was badly hit by the financial crisis and lost 10 companies between 31 March 2008 and 2009, then lost further share falling to 24 companies this year. By market cap the Europe share was 36% at 31 March 2008 falling to just 19% in 2016. The US, however, has seen an impressive growth of its share of the largest companies: by market cap the US share was 38% at 31 March 2008 rising to 62% in 2016.

Top performing sectors

Top performing sectors

Technology has overtaken the Financial sector this year, and is now the largest sector in terms of market cap (US$2,993bn), underlining the resilience and innovative features of tech companies. The global top three are now technology companies: Apple, Alphabet and Microsoft, closely followed by Facebook in sixth position. These giants have an unequalled global reach and footprint and have contributed to reshaping a digital way of life on a global scale. Consumer Goods (US$2,517bn) comes third, recording the highest number of companies (19). Increasing consumption and the rise of the middle class throughout large parts of the world are key trends that enable companies in both Consumer Goods and Consumer Services sectors to grow.

"We can see that bigger companies have shown resilience, with the exception of some natural resources companies, as despite uncertain market conditions and growth perspectives, 91 companies from 2015 remained on the list – a stable level compared to previous years."

Clifford Tompsett, Head of Global IPO Centre, PwC

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