Google becomes number two in market value

NEW YORK (AFP) - Google overtook US oil giant ExxonMobil on Monday to become the world's number two company when rated by market value, behind its high-tech rival Apple.

Even though Google shares fell 0.38 per cent, a bigger drop in Exxon stock allowed the Internet giant to capture the second spot in market capitalization.

Google's market cap at the end of the trading day was US$394 billion (S$499 billion), compared to the US$388 billion of ExxonMobil. Apple remained well ahead with a market capitalisation of US$472 billion.

Google briefly overtook Exxon during the trading session last Friday but Monday was the first time this was confirmed at the close of trade.

ExxonMobil shares fell 1.17 per cent on Monday to $89.53, bringing its year-to-date loss to 11.5 per cent.

Google, despite Monday's modest dip, is near its all-time high and has doubled in value since July 2012. The shares closed on Monday at $1,172.93.

The California-based Internet group is the world leader in online advertising, its Android operating system has become the dominant platform for smartphones and is also gaining fast in tablet devices.

Google's other projects include a self-driving car and its Google Glass eyewear. The company recently bought Nest Labs in what is seen as a move into connected home technology.