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Global Top 100 companies - March 2021

Global ranking of the top 100 public companies by market capitalisation

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Introduction

As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold on the global economy in early 2020, the MSCI World Index declined by 21% and market volatility increased dramatically peaking at 83 on 16 March 2020. The world's largest companies were not immune to significant reductions in market value, with the value of the Global Top 100 Companies as at Mar-2020 declining by 15% in the first quarter of 2020.

Since the declines seen in early 2020, global equity markets have not only recovered lost ground, but have surged to record highs - with economic recovery being supported by government and central bank policies responding to the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The market capitalisation of the Global Top 100 companies (as at March 2021) increased by 48% ($10.3tn) to $31.7tn from 31 March 2020 to 31 March 2021.

This report analyses the position of the Global Top 100 Companies and highlights the remarkable changes in the composition of the list, comparing the Global Top 100 Companies by market capitalisation as at March 2020 and March 2021.

"Looking beyond the dislocation caused by the initial outbreak of COVID-19, the market capitalisation of the Global Top 100 companies has increased by a remarkable 51% between March 2019 and March 2021, compared to an increase in the MSCI World Index of 33%. Led by the US, this highlights the ability of the largest companies to leverage technology and grow at scale over this period, breaking away from the growth trend line over the past decade."

Ross Hunter - IPO Centre Leader, Partner, PwC United Kingdom

Explore the Global Top 100 companies by region:

Global Top 100 companies: explore the data
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Greater China

$21,075m

Market Cap (31 March 2021)

Alibaba Group Holding-Sp ADR

7

Rank

$471.7m

Market Cap
(31 March 2021)

1.7%

% Change Mkt
Cap (19-18)

Tencent Holdings Ltd

7

Rank

$471.7m

Market Cap
(31 March 2021)

1.7%

% Change Mkt
Cap (19-18)

Ind & Comm Bk of China-A

7

Rank

$471.7m

Market Cap
(31 March 2021)

1.7%

% Change Mkt
Cap (19-18)
Source: Bloomberg and PwC analysis

Key highlights - March 2021

Market capitalisation

  • The market capitalisation of the Global Top 100 companies increased by 48% in the year to March 2021, resulting in a record breaking market capitalisation of $31.7tn.

  • In-line with expectations, the United States continues to dominate the Global Top 100 in terms of market capitalisation and number of companies, with 59 companies accounting for 65% of total market capitalisation.

  • There were no direct entrants to the Global Top 100 companies via IPO despite a buoyant IPO market. The threshold to enter the list is now $129bn, potentially creating a barrier to future entrants via IPO.

  • All regions and component countries experienced a relative increase in market capitalisation of the companies listed in the Global Top 100. 

Source: Bloomberg

*as at March unless stated

Source: Bloomberg

Sector performance of the Global Top 100 companies

  • Technology continues to be the largest sector in terms of market capitalisation ($10.5tn). Global Top 100 Technology companies saw a 71% increase as compared to their value as at March 2020.

  • All sectors represented by the Top 100 list saw massive increases in market capitalisation in the year to March 2021, ranging from 25% to 75%.

  • Global Top 100 companies in the cyclical sectors, Industrials and Basic Materials, outperformed other sectors in the Global Top 100 (other than Technology).  

  • The worst-performing sectors in the Global Top 100 were Health Care, Energy and Utilities.

Contact us

Ross Hunter

Ross Hunter

IPO Centre Leader, Partner, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 7802 918885

Nadja Picard

Nadja Picard

Partner, Global Reporting Leader, PwC Germany

Tel: +49 211 981 2978

Mike Bellin

Mike Bellin

IPO Services Co-Leader, Partner, PwC United States

David Ethridge

David Ethridge

IPO Services Co-Leader, PwC United States

Tel: +1 (212) 845 0739

Kennedy Liu

Kennedy Liu

Capital Markets Leader, PwC China

Tel: +852 2289 1881

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