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Global Top 100 companies by market capitalisation: Market value rose by over USD 10 trillion, to a record USD 31.7 trillion, during the pandemic year

27 May 2021

The market capitalisation of the 100 largest listed companies in the world increased by over USD 10 trillion (48%) between April 2020 and March 2021, despite the year being marked by lockdowns and restrictions. By 31 March 2021, a new record high of USD 31.7 trillion had been reached, according to the “Global Top 100 companies by market capitalisation”.

“The capitalisation of the 100 largest listed companies in the world has reached the highest market value recorded to date and over 2.6 times higher than a decade ago. The rise was supported both by the success of some sectors of activity and by the measures taken by governments and central banks to reduce the effects of the health crisis. Technology is arguably the most attractive sector for investors, with the cumulative market value of companies operating in this field representing a third of the total capitalisation of USD 31.7 trillion of the top 100 companies. Due to this development, the entry threshold reached USD 129 billion and, as a result, although the number of initial public offerings (IPOs) was significant in the last year, no new listed company managed to break into the rankings. That can be food for thought for future IPO issuers aspiring to a top ranking”, said Dinu Bumbăcea, Partner and Advisory Leader, PwC Romania.

Top 100 performance in sectors and regions

All sectors represented in the Top 100 list saw substantial increases, ranging from 25% to 75%, in market capitalisation during the year to March 2021.

Technology continues to be the largest sector in terms of market capitalisation (USD 10.5 trillion). Global Top 100 Technology companies saw a 71% increase from their March 2020 value.

Industrials and Basic Materials also outperformed other sectors, with increases of 75% and 68%, respectively.

The worst-performing sectors in the Global Top 100 were Health Care, with 25%, and Energy and Utilities, at 26%.

The United States continues to dominate the Global Top 100. Its 59 companies on the list recorded the highest regional increase in market capitalisation of 57%, compared with China’s 42% and Europe’s 18%.

Five European companies dropped out of the Global Top 100 in the year to March 2021, including three in the UK and two in France. That was partially offset by two new entrants to the list from Germany - Siemens and Volkswagen.

The 73 companies on the list from the US and China account for 77% of the total market capitalisation of all Global Top 100 companies.

Top companies

Apple regained its crown as the world’s largest company by market capitalisation with a March 2021 valuation of 6% and 13% ahead of Saudi Aramco (2nd) and Microsoft (3rd), respectively. Apple’s market capitalisation reached an all-time high of USD 2.4 trillion in January 2021.

Although Amazon’s market capitalisation increased by 61% in the year to March 2021, the company remained in fourth place.

The top 10 is completed by Alphabet (Google), Facebook, Tencent, Tesla, Alibaba and Berkshire Hathaway.

China Mobile was the only company in the Global Top 100 that saw a decrease in market capitalisation. Tesla recorded the highest increase, of 565%. Food delivery platform Meituan saw the second largest increase in market capitalisation in relative terms (221%).

Volkswagen returned to the Global Top 100 with a USD 165 billion market capitalisation as at March 2021, with a 165% increase in the year to March 2021, driven by strong investor support and consumer demand for its transition to electric vehicles.

Given the ongoing regulatory challenges and suppressed demand across the aviation industry due to the pandemic, Boeing made a surprise return to the list with a 77% increase in market capitalisation.

About the report

The full report can be found here. The rankings include the top 100 companies worldwide according to market value as at 31 March 2021.

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Dinu Bumbacea

Dinu Bumbăcea
Partner and Advisory Leader
PwC Romania

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Diana Alexi

Marketing and Communication Leader, Romania

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