ARAMCO rules the Forbes list of Top 100 in the Middle East

46 of the top 100 companies on the list are banks.

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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The Forbes Top 100 Companies in the Middle East 2020 list is out and Saudi Aramco makes its debut in the first position. The company is currently the most valuable in the world and has a market value of $1.6 trillion. The ranking was based on in-depth research of the companies’ market value, assets, profit and sales.

The 100 companies have a total of $670 billion in sales, $148 billion in net profits, $3.5 trillion in assets, and $2.3 trillion in market value with Saudi Aramco representing 49% of those total sales, 59.6% of the net profits, and 69.6% of the market cap.

Excluding Aramco’s numbers, data suggests that the profits have fallen to $60 billion for 2019, down from $70.1 billion the year before. This is a 14% drop even before COVID-19 had hit the world. Due to the spread of the pandemic, the market values of the companies have also suffered, dropping 26.8% from $945 million to $691 million, excluding Saudi Aramco.

Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest economy, dominates the list with 33 entries. Saudi is followed by the UAE and Qatar with 21 and 18 companies respectively. GCC countries make up 90% of the list, with Kuwait and Bahrain having seven companies each on the list and Oman having four. Egypt has five companies on the list and Morocco has four while only one Jordanian company made it to the list.

Banks make up almost half (46) of the top 100 list, followed by companies in the industrials sector with nine entries, followed by telecom and real estate with eight entries each.

“Although the pandemic has sadly led to the closure of some companies, it has also opened doors of opportunity and growth for others,” said Khuloud Al Omian, Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Middle East. “While the market value of many of the companies on our list has dropped, they are still showing great resilience and continuity in difficult times.”