Global Top 100 companies (2018)

Ranking of the top 100 global companies by market capitalisation


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 2018. We have identified the risers and the fallers, looked at sector dynamics and provided a view on how the global landscape has changed.

Key highlights

Increase in Global Top 100 market cap ($bn)

The market capitalisation of the 100 largest companies globally increased by $2,597bn to $20,035, up 15% compared to 31 March 2017. 48% of the growth was contributed by US companies, as compared to 63% last year. 

Almost 40% of the growth in market capitalisation came from Chinese companies, with Tencent and Alibaba joining the top ten companies in 2018.

The increase in China's market capitalisation has been close to that of the US this year

The US remains the largest contributor to the top 100 market capitalisation, gaining $1,259bn since 2017 to reach $12,187bn, representing 61% of the total. Strong performances by Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet and Apple fuelled this US growth. China’s contribution to the top 100 market capitalisation increased by 57%, to $2,822bn, with 12 companies now in the top 100 (up from ten in 2017). Tencent was the top Chinese performer this year, increasing its value by 82% to $496bn.

While the UK keeps its third position and has five companies in the top 100, European companies have never fully recovered from the 2009 financial crisis. Europe is now represented by just 23 companies (down from 31 in 2009) and accounts for only 17% of the top 100 market capitalisation (compared to 27% in 2009).

Technology sector retains the lead, followed by Financials

Technology is the number one sector for the third year in a row. Technology’s lead over the Financials sector has increased by $335bn in the last year, underlining the continuing strength of the Technology sector. The global top three companies remain Apple, Alphabet and Microsoft, followed by Tencent in fifth position and Facebook in eighth position.

Apple remains the world’s most valuable public company and, along with Microsoft, Alphabet and Amazon (classified in the Consumer Services sector), is in the running to become the first ever company to be valued at one trillion dollars. Analysts believe this one trillion dollar mark could be reached by the end of 2018.

“The most striking feature of this year’s figures is the strong increases in the value of the leading Chinese companies. For many years, US companies have used their global reach, financial strength and ability to innovate to pull away from the rest of the world. Now China is drawing on equivalent attributes, founded on the huge scale of the Chinese market, to make inroads into the US’s lead. Tencent and Alibaba’s entry into the Top 10 is a clear sign of their success in doing this.”

Ross Hunter - IPO Centre Leader, Partner, PwC

Contact us

Ross Hunter

IPO Centre Leader, Partner, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 7802 918885

Nadja Picard

PwC Europe Capital Markets Leader, Partner, PwC Germany

Tel: +49 211 981 2978

Peter Whelan

Partner, Equity Advisory

Tel: +44 (0)20 7804 0252

David Ethridge

US IPO Services Leader, Partner, PwC United States

Tel: +1 (212) 845 0739

Kennedy Liu

China/Hong Kong Capital Markets Leader, Partner, PwC Hong Kong

Tel: +852 2289 1881

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