Fewer local firms make it to Forbes Global 2000

Three fewer this year, with DBS at No. 253 leading the 17 S'pore companies on the list

Three fewer Singapore companies made it this year to Forbes magazine's annual ranking of the 2,000 biggest, most powerful and most valuable public companies in the world.

The 17 Singapore-listed firms that did make the list were once again led by DBS Group Holdings, which moved up to 253th position from 268th last year. It was followed by OCBC Bank in 286th spot, up from 302nd, and Singtel, which climbed five places to 320th. At fourth and fifth place for Singapore firms were United Overseas Bank and agribusiness group Wilmar International.

Four Singapore companies fell off the list - Avago Technologies, China Aviation Oil, Overseas Union Enterprises and logistics firm CWT.

The Forbes Global 2000 ranks companies on a score calculated from sales, profits and assets as well as market value. The 2016 list features public companies from 63 countries that together account for US$35 trillion (S$48 trillion) in revenue, US$2.4 trillion in profit, US$162 trillion of assets and a combined market value of US$44 trillion.

But slowing global growth, and collapsing commodity prices and stock markets have lopped 8 per cent off the combined market capital of the Global 2000, said Forbes.

Energy companies notably lost ground from a year ago, no surprise considering the fall in oil prices. ExxonMobil slipped to ninth place, from seventh last year, while PetroChina tumbled eight spots to 17th.

  • Biggest companies

  • GLOBAL TOP 10

    1. ICBC (China)

    2. China Construction Bank (China)

    3. Agricultural Bank of China (China)

    4. Berkshire Hathaway (US)

    5. JPMorgan Chase (US)

    6. Bank of China (China)

    7. Wells Fargo (US)

    8. Apple (US)

    9. ExxonMobil (US)

    10. Toyota Motor (Japan)


    SINGAPORE TOP 10

    253. DBS Group Holdings

    286. OCBC Bank

    320. Singtel

    332. United Overseas Bank

    359. Wilmar International

    877. Keppel Corp

    895. Singapore Airlines

    926. CapitaLand

    931. Flextronics International

    1,231. Global Logistic Properties

The United States again boasted the largest number of companies on the list, with 587, followed by China and Hong Kong together, with 249.

Despite a slowing economy, China's banking giants retained their top three spots on the list, with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) ranked No. 1 for the fourth consecutive year. China Construction Bank and Agricultural Bank of China remained at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.

Investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway gained one spot to fourth, after holding up better than most in a turbulent market. Last week, it revealed a new stake in Apple, which is at eighth place on the list, returning to the top 10.

US- and China-based companies dominated the top 10, with only Japan's Toyota Motor at No. 10 preventing a clean sweep.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 28, 2016, with the headline 'Fewer local firms make it to Forbes Global 2000'. Print Edition | Subscribe