Saudi Aramco tops Forbes 100 Mideast ranking

Saudi Aramco tops Forbes 100 Mideast ranking
Saudi Aramco tops Forbes 100 Mideast ranking

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Energy giant Saudi Aramco has retained the top spot in Forbes Middle East’s Top 100 listed companies for 2024, with $660.8 billion in assets and $1.9 trillion in market value. 

The firm was followed by Saudi National Bank, the largest commercial financial institution in the Kingdom. The body has $276.6 billion in assets and $59.1 in market value. 

UAE-based International Holding Co. and Qatar National Bank Group grabbed the third and fourth spots, respectively. 

The ranking comes just days after Aramco announced its second public offering of 1.545 billion shares worth more than $11 billion, one of the biggest such stock sales in recent years. 

On June 9, the energy giant revealed that following the completion of its secondary offering, the company’s allocation to international investors reached 0.73 percent of total shares. 

“To construct the list, Forbes Middle East collected data from listed stock exchanges in the Arab world and ranked firms based on their reported sales, assets, and profits for the 2023 financial year, along with market value as of April 26, 2024,” said Forbes in the press statement. 

It added: “Each metric was given equal weight, and companies with the same final scores were given the same rank. Companies that had not disclosed their 2023 audited financial statements as of April 26, 2024, were excluded.” 

In its report, Forbes also outlined some of the major moves taken by the energy giant during the first quarter. 

“In January, Aramco and Rongsheng Petrochemical announced their plans to buy stakes in each other’s units. In the same month, the energy giant also allocated an additional $4 billion to its global venture capital arm, Aramco Ventures, increasing its total investment allocation to $7 billion,” said Forbes. 

First Abu Dhabi Bank and Emirates NBD came in the fifth and sixth spots, followed by Saudi Arabia’s Al-Rajhi Bank and UAE’s TAQA Group in the seventh and eighth places, respectively. 

Saudi Electricity Co. was another entry from the Kingdom, garnering the ninth spot in the list, followed by Kuwait Finance House in tenth place. 

Companies from the Gulf Cooperation Council region dominated the list with 92 entries, led by the UAE with 32 firms and 31 from Saudi Arabia.

The ranking also featured 14 companies from Qatar, 10 from Kuwait, and four from Morocco. 

Three Bahraini firms were included on the list, while two entries each came from Egypt, Jordan, and Oman. 

According to the report, the banking and financial services sector was the most represented, with 45 entries generating aggregate sales of $223.5 billion and $3.3 trillion in assets. 

However, the energy sector, represented by five companies, was the most profitable, with a combined profit of $127.5 billion, thanks to Aramco.

In May, the energy giant revealed that its net profit hit $27.27 billion in the first quarter of this year, representing a 2.04 percent rise compared to the last three months of 2023.

In April, another report released by UK-based Brand Finance revealed that Saudi Aramco maintained its position as the Middle East region’s most sought-after brand with a value of $41.5 billion. 

In its analysis, Brand Finance said that Saudi Aramco continued to dominate as the most valuable label in the region despite an 8 percent drop in its brand value, driven by a fall in crude oil prices and lower sales volumes.

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