Saudi dominates Forbes Middle East’s ranking of top 500 publicly listed firms

June 19, 2014 5:51 pm

Organisations from Saudi Arabia dominate the Top 500 Companies in the Arab World 2014 list of publicly listed firms, which was released by Forbes Middle East magazine in an award ceremony on Tuesday (June 17) at Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai.

Chemical manufacturing firm Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) retains its number one ranking this year as well, recording $50bn in revenues and $90.4bn in assets in 2013, along with Saudi Telecom in the second spot with $2.6bn in profits. A total of nine Saudi-based firms have made it in the top
20 and 108 in the overall ranking, with a total market value of $746.33bn and $162.06bn in revenues.

The kingdom also leads the food industries ranking, with Savola Group topping the list for the sector with a market value of $9.8bn, $7bn in revenues and $454.5m in profits, followed by Almarai in second place, which ranks first in the sector in terms of market value ($10.4bn).

According to the ranking’s results, the 500 companies boast a combined revenue of $383.67bn for 2013, with net profits of $71.68bn. “These companies are the legacy of our time. They are bringing diversification to the region’s economies and carrying that success to international soil. Almost every sector was hit by the economic downturn, but this list shows just how far the Middle East has come,” says Hannah Stewart, executive editor of Forbes Middle East, at the event.

While the list covered 11 nations in the Arab World, GCC companies dominated the top ten positions, with four from Saudi Arabia, three from the UAE, two from Qatar and one from Kuwait.

Six UAE-based organisations made it to the list of top 20 companies, making the total firms on the overall list 74. Telecommunications company Etisalat, which earned $1.9bn in profits, leads the pack, securing the fourth spot in the overall ranking. It, however, falls from its number three position in the 2013 ranking.

Other UAE institutions in the top 20 include National Bank of Abu Dhabi (number seven), First Gulf Bank (number eight), Emirates NBD (number 14), Abu Dhabi Commerical Bank (number 16) and Emaar Properties (number 19).

The banking sector appears to be one of the strongest performers, with 12 of the top 20 organisations being banks and 101 in the overall list. According to the results, the top 10 banks had a combined total of $703.6bn in assets in 2013.

However, the industrial sector leads the way with 107 companies in the overall list. The top ten industrial firms record a market value of $61.8bn and $41bn in assets.

With several projects being developed across the Arab World, such as Dubai’s Expo 2020, the real estate sector also showed a strong performance, with Kuwait featuring the highest number of companies: 15. However, UAE-based Emaar Properties (number 19) is the only real estate company that made it in the top 20.


The list of top 20 companies is as follows:

1) Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (KSA)

2) Saudi Telecom (KSA)

3) Qatar National Bank (Qatar)

4) Etisalat (UAE)

5) Saudi Electricity (KSA)

6) Al Rajhi Bank (KSA)

7) National Bank of Abu Dhabi (UAE)

8) First Gulf Bank (UAE)

9) Ooredoo (Qatar)

10) National Bank of Kuwait (Kuwait)

11) Mobily (KSA)

12) Samba Financial Group (KSA)

13) Riyad Bank (KSA)

14) Emirates NBD (UAE)

15) Saudi British Bank (KSA)

16) Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (UAE)

17) Industries Qatar (Qatar)

18) Banque Saudi Fransi (KSA)

19) Emaar Properties (UAE)

20) Kuwait Finance House (Kuwait)