The impact of the world’s largest companies is far-reaching, well beyond the borders of the countries that they reside in. Often, when thinking about these companies, we are drawn to the US, with 50% of the world’s largest companies by market capitalisation originating from the US alone. It is, therefore, important for investors and traders to be aware of key information about the largest companies that originate from outside the US, as well as those that originate from the US.
In this article, we will look at:
How do we define the largest?
As mentioned previously, we are ranking the size of these companies by their market capitalisation (also known as equity value), defined by multiplying the share price of a company by its total number of outstanding shares. This value provides investors/traders with information on the public’s perception of a company’s value, allowing them to make informed decisions when investing/trading.
Ten Largest non-US companies
|Rank||Company||Country||Market Capitalisation ($billions)|
|1||Saudi Aramco||Saudi Arabia||2305|
1. Saudi Aramco (2222)
The largest non-US company and second largest company in the world is Saudi Aramco, a majority state-owned petroleum and natural gas company from Saudi Arabia with a market capitalisation of $2.305 trillion. The only company larger than Saudi Aramco is Apple. It is the largest oil-producing company in the world, managing over 100 oil and natural gas fields. Saudi Aramco is the largest single carbon-producing company in the world.
Founded in the early 20th century and operating in Saudi Arabia, Saudi Aramco has a chequered past, initially being owned as a subsidiary by the American company Standard Oil of California (SoCal). In 1976, due to heightening political tension in the Middle East, the Saudi Arabian government fully took control of all of Saudi Aramco’s assets. In 2019, 5% of Saudi Aramco’s ownership was allowed to be traded publicly in an initial public offering (IPO). This IPO became the world’s largest, with the company managing to raise $25.6 billion on the Tadawul stock exchange.
Saudi Aramco’s headquarters are in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, and the CEO is Amin H. Nasser, who has held the position since 2015. In 2022, due to rising oil prices, Saudi Aramco recorded the biggest quarterly profit of a public company in history at $48.4 billion, and in 2021 Saudi Aramco reported revenue growth of 74.20%.
2. TSMC (TSM)
Second on our list is the Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s oldest and largest semiconductor fabrication plant. Semiconductors are a broad term for substances that are found in every modern electrical device. TSMC was founded in 1987 by Morris Chang, who only retired in 2018 and was succeeded by C. C. Wei as CEO and Mark Liu as Chairman. TSMC is listed on the Taiwanese Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange (the first Taiwanese company to achieve this). TSMC’s customers include Apple, Arm and Nvidia.
That being said, TSMC’s key competitors also include Nvidia, as well as Intel and Texas Instruments to name just a few.
With headquarters located in Hsinchu in Taiwan, TSMC would be affected by any serious conflict between Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China, and so TSMC has been attempting to mitigate this with expansion across the globe. Despite this, TSMC’s annual revenue growth in 2021 was 15.19%.
3. Tencent (TCEHY)
Thirdly, we have Tencent, a Chinese technology and entertainment multinational, multi-industry company founded in 1998 by Pony Ma (who remains as CEO and Chairman), Charles Chen, Zhang Zhidong, Xu Chenye, and Zeng Liqing. It is based in Shenzhen, China. Tencent provides services in sectors such as social networks, video games, and music and holds stakes in well over 500 companies.
Since 2011, Tencent has provided the social media app WeChat, which has an active user count of over 1 billion. In 2015, Tencent branched out and created the online bank WeBank. It also owns the games company Riot Games (developer of League of Legends), has majority stakes in many companies, including Supercell (developer of Clash of Clans), and minority stakes in other companies such as Epic Games (developers of Fortnite). Tencent also holds the rights to broadcasting the NBA in China.
This year, Tencent has aggressively begun buying its own shares in an attempt to stop the price from sliding following Prosus (a large shareholder in Tencent) announcing it would sell some of its 28.8% stake in Tencent. Tencent’s revenue fell by 4.35% in the second quarter of 2022 but reported a more positive 24.62% increase over the whole of 2021.
4. Kweichow Moutai (600519)
In fourth place is Kweichow Moutai, the world’s largest beverage company, based in Maotai in China. Kweichow Moutai is partially owned by the Chinese government, and partially publicly owned with the Kweichow Moutai Group having the majority share. It has been listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange since 2001. Kweichow Moutai produces Maotai, a baijiu (Chinese liquor) which is immensely popular with 70,200 tons being produced in 2018 alone.
In the past five years, Kweichow Moutai has seen an average revenue growth rate of 15.76%.
5. LVMH (MC)
The first European company on our list is LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), a French multinational that was formed through a merger between Louis Vuitton (the luxury fashion brand) and Moët Hennessy (the luxury drinks brand). LVMH specialises in luxurious brands and subsidiaries include Dior, Givenchy, Kenzo, and Tiffany & Co.
LVMH was formed in the 1980s by Bernard Arnault (who remains as CEO to this day) in an effort to conglomerate prestigious brands. The only majority shareholder in LVMH is the Arnault Family Group. LVMH is headquartered in Paris. In 2019, LVMH had a legal battle with Tiffany & Co. over the LVMH’s proposed acquisition of the jewellery company. This companies ultimately came to an agreement and the full purchase of Tiffany & Co. was completed in early 2021. More recently, LVMH has begun to embrace blockchain technology and the concept of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). Blockchain is the technology behind cryptocurrency.
LVMH major competitors across the many industries that they operate in including Christian Dior (fashion) and Remy Cointreau (liquor). LVMH reported revenue growth of 43.82% in 2021.
6. Nestlé (NESN)
At the sixth place, we have Nestlé, based in Vevey in Switzerland. Nestlé is the largest food company that is entirely publicly held, operating in 189 countries.
Nestlé was founded in the late 19th century after a merger between two Swiss food and drink enterprises. Over the course of the 20th and 21st centuries, Nestlé continued to grow with further acquisitions, mergers and international expansion. Nestlé’s largest brands include Nespresso, Kit Kat, and Maggi, and Nestlé also has majority stakes in other large companies, including L’Oreal. Nestlé has also had a controversial past, with them continuing to face the consequences due to their marketing of baby formula and use of child labour.
The current CEO of Nestlé is Ulf Mark Schneider, and the current Chairman is Paul Bulcke. Nestlé has recently had to hike prices in response to rising inflation around the globe due to the global oil prices.
Nestlé’s competitors consist of other large providers of food and drink products including Kerry, Unilever, and Pepsico. Nestlé reported relatively low revenue growth in 2021 at just 3.25%.
7. Samsung (005930)
Returning to Asia, we have the South Korean Samsung at number seven. Samsung is a conglomerate founded in 1938 by Lee Byung-chul but did not enter the industries that would cause Samsung to become one of the world’s largest companies until the 1960s and 1970s, when Samsung entered the electronics, construction, and shipbuilding industries.
70% of Samsung’s revenue since 2012 is due to its affiliate Samsung Electronics, the second-largest technology in the world by revenue. Samsung Electronics produces all types of electronic devices including smartphones and tablet computers. Other affiliates of Samsung include Samsung Heavy Industries and Samsung Engineering.
Samsung is based in Seoul, South Korea and its chairman is Lee Kun-Hee. Samsung is considering launching a cryptocurrency platform in 2023.
8. Roche (ROG)
The second Swiss company on our list is F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG (Roche), which is a healthcare company that was founded in 1896. Descendants of the founders, the Hoffman and Oeri families, own just over half of the shares with voting rights in Roche. Roche is the fifth largest pharmaceutical company in the world and can separated into two major divisions, Pharmaceuticals and Diagnostics.
Roche is the world’s largest spender in medical research and development and develops drugs to treat cancer, viruses and metabolic diseases. Recently, the US Food and Drug Administration approved a Roche product Xofluza, a treatment for Influenza for children aged five and under.
Roche’s CEO is Severin Schwan, and its chairman is Christoph Franz. The company is based in Basel, Switzerland. Roche’s competitors include the likes of Novo Nordisk, Novartis and Pfizer. In 2021, Roche reported revenue growth of 7.68%.
9. Alibaba (BABA)
The penultimate entry on this list is Alibaba Group, a Chinese company that is in the e-commerce, retail, and technology industries. Alibaba originates from Hangzhou, China having been founded in 1999 by Jack Ma alongside 17 of his friends and students. Alibaba is one of the world’s largest companies in e-commerce and retail with its websites Alibaba, Taobao, and Tmall. Ant Group, an arm of Alibaba, is also the world’s second-largest financial services group. Alibaba is also attempting to expand into entertainment and media using its Digital Media and Entertainment Group.
Alibaba was taken public in an IPO in 2014, which, at the time, was the largest IPO in history (this title was eventually taken by Saudi Aramco). Alibaba’s stocks were recently boosted by a fiscal stimulus from the Chinese government and news that the US and China will come to an agreement about corporate auditing by US officials of Chinese companies.
Alibaba’s competitors include Amazon (which features in the top ten US countries in the world) as well as Rakuten and eBay. With 254,941 employees worldwide, Alibaba will want to recover from the 1.42% fall in revenue over the second quarter of 2022.
10. Novo Nordisk (NVO)
Finally, we have Novo Nordisk, a pharmaceutical company from Denmark with headquarters located in Bagsværd. Novo Nordisk specialises in diabetes treatments but also is involved in areas such as hemostasis, growth hormone therapy and hormone replacement therapy. Novo Nordisk was created in 1989 following a merger between Novo Industri and Nordisk Gentofte, allowing Novo Nordisk to become the world’s largest producer of insulin. The Chairman of Novo Nordisk is Helge Lund and the CEO and President is Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen. 33% of Novo Nordisk’s revenue is made up of Insulin sales, but they are attempting to move into higher-growth treatment areas, so this total is expected to fall in the future.
Competitors of Novo Nordisk include Roche, Pfizer and Sanofi. Novo Nordisk reported second-quarter growth in revenue in 2022, following on from 10.91% revenue growth over the whole of 2021.
The above introduction to the top 10 largest non-US companies by market capitalisation should be used as a stepping stone for future research in order to make effective investment decisions. It is crucial to have as rich an understanding as possible of the global financial landscape before making any financial decision, and we hope that the information presented above is insightful enough to give an understanding of the potential benefits and risks of certain non-US companies. If you are keen to know more about trading these stocks with Hantec Markets, you can learn more here.
If you liked this post, you might also want to check out our Top 10 Largest US Companies by Market Capitalisation.
 Information on market capitalisation found at https://companiesmarketcap.com 26/8/2022