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NOTABLE DROPOUTS INCLUDE SABIC

Aramco tops Forbes 100 Mideast ranking; total firms worth $3.6trn

DUBAI, 8 days ago

Saudi oil giant Aramco has retained the top spot this year in the Forbes Middle East Top 100 List with a whopping $660.8 billion in assets and $1.9 trillion in market value. 
 
Unveiling the list of the region’s largest, most valuable, and most profitable firms, Forbes Middle East said the GCC firms reigned the list with 92 entries, led by the UAE with 32 companies, followed by 31 from Saudi Arabia.
 
The ranking also features 14 companies from Qatar, 10 from Kuwait, four from Morocco, three from Bahrain and two entries each from Egypt, Jordan, and Oman, said Forbes in a statement. 
 
The banking and financial services sector continues to be the most represented with 45 entries generating combined sales of $223.5 billion and holding $3.3 trillion in assets. 
 
Six of the top 10 companies operate in banking and financial services. However, the energy sector, with five companies, remains the most profitable, boasting total profits of $127.5 billion, largely due to Aramco. Telecommunications and industrials are the second and third most represented sectors, with nine and seven entries, respectively, it stated. 
 
In January 2024, Aramco and Rongsheng Petrochemical announced their plans to buy stakes in each other’s units. 
 
In the same month, Aramco allocated an additional $4 billion to its global venture capital arm, Aramco Ventures, increasing its total investment allocation to $7 billion. Saudi National Bank and the International Holding Company complete the top three. 
 
According to Forbes Middle East, collectively, the 100 companies experienced a 5.1% decline in sales, dropping from $1.1 trillion in 2022 to $1 trillion in 2023. 
 
Their net profits also fell by 13.5% to $240.2 billion, and their total market value saw a slight reduction of 4.4% to $3.6 trillion as of April 2024. Nonetheless, the total value of their assets increased by 5.4% to $4.9 trillion in 2023 compared to the previous year, it stated.
 
Despite a challenging economic year for businesses globally, Forbes Middle East said the 2024 list featured six newcomers - Adnoc Gas, Borouge, PureHealth Holding and Adnoc Logistics & Services (all from UAE) and Saudi Arabia’s Elm and ADES Holding. 
 
While notable dropouts include Sabic - ranked second last year - after reporting a $102.5 million loss in 2023, compared to a $6.3 billion profit in 2022, it stated.
 
The top 10 companies in the Forbes Middle East 2024 list are:
 
*Aramco  - Saudi Arabia (Energy) 
*Saudi National Bank (SNB) - Saudi Arabia - Banks & Financial Services 
*International Holding Company (IHC) - UAE - Investments 
*QNB Group - Qatar - Banks & Financial Services 
*First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) - UAE - (Banks & Financial Services)
*Emirates NBD - (UAE) - Banks & Financial Services 
*Alrajhi bank - Saudi Arabia - Banks & Financial Services 
*Taqa Group - UAE - Utilities  
*Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) - Saudi Arabia - Utilities and
*Kuwait Finance House (KFH) - Kuwait - Banks & Financial Services
 
Forbes Middle East said to construct the list, it had 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. 
 
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, it added.-TradeArabia News Service



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