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ICBC unseats US icon at top of Forbes list

Victor Cheung

Friday, April 19, 2013

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Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (1398) has unseated Exxon Mobil from the top of the Forbes list of the world's largest public companies, the first time a Chinese company has taken the No1 slot.

It also marks the first time in Forbes' 10-year history that the number of mainland firms equals those of US enterprises. Each nation has four corporations among the top 10.

China Construction Bank (0939) comes second, up from 13th last year. Agricultural Bank of China (1288) is eighth and PetroChina (0857) ties with Berkshire Hathaway for the ninth place.

Two companies in the top 10 outside of the United States and China are HSBC Holdings (0005) of Britain and Royal Dutch Shell of the Netherlands.

Bank of China (3988) comes 11th and Bank of Communications (3328) is 54th.

Ping An Insurance (2318) rises to 83rd from 100th.

"This year's list again reveals the dynamism of global business," Forbes said.

In the larger list of 2,000 firms, the US still dominates with 543 members, followed by Japan with 251 and the mainland with 136.

In total, the 2,000 companies now account for US$38 trillion (HK$296.4 trillion) in global revenues, US$2.43 trillion in profit, US$159 trillion in assets and US$39 trillion in market value.

Together, they employ 87 million people worldwide.

All metrics rose from a year ago, except the measure for profits, Forbes said.

Banks and diversified financials still dominate the list, with a combined 469 companies - thanks in large measure to their sales and asset totals.

The next three biggest industries by membership are oil and gas, materials and insurance.

Ranked with an equal weighting of sales, profits, assets and market value to measure, the so- called Forbes 2000 list is still behind the similar Fortune 500 list in terms of global recognition.


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