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Gulf Cooperation Council firms steal limelight in list of Forbes Middle East ‘Top 500’


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Muscat: Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) dominated the line-up of the Forbes Middle East Top 500 companies in the Arab world — with the top 10 includes four entries from Saudi Arabia, three from the UAE, two from Qatar and one from Kuwait.
Once again, topping the list is Saudi Arabia's Sabic with $50 billion in revenues and an asset base of $90.4 billion. Also in a repeat from last year, Saudi Telecom, which showed a profit of $2.6 billion, finds second place.
In terms of number of entries, Saudi Arabia dominates not just the top 10, but the overall ranking.
As the biggest economy in the region, the Kingdom occupies more than one-fifth of the list, with each of its 108 entries listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange, Tadawul. The combined market value of the one hundred-plus companies stands at $746.33 billion, with $746.33 billion in assets and revenues of $162.06 billion.
Kuwait features the second highest number of entries this year with the National Bank of Kuwait, which is ranked 10th overall, leading the way.
For their part, 74 UAE companies enter the list, with Etisalat, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank finishing in the top 10. Egypt lands in fourth place in volume of entries, followed by Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Jordan, Bahrain, Lebanon and Iraq, respectively.
This year the industrials sector witnessed the highest number of entries with 24.2 per cent of the total line-up, followed by the banking sector with 20.2 per cent.
Attesting to the region's economic recovery, real estate companies fared well too, accounting for 10.4 per cent of entries with the UAE developer, Emaar Properties, ranked top in the category.
Public-listed companies
Altogether 11 countries are represented in the list, and with financial performance as of December 2013 as the reference point, their combined revenues stand at $383.67 billion and net profits, $71.68 billion.
These figures equate to year-on-year increases of 12 per cent and 16.2 per cent, respectively, while aggregated total assets grew 19 per cent to reach a sizable $2.64 trillion.
Featuring only publically-listed companies, the Top 500 vompanies in the Arab World builds on Forbes' pioneering Global 2000 and was based on disclosed financial statements for 2013, collated from stock markets across the region. Criteria considered when producing the list include total revenue, net profits, total assets, and market capitalisation.
At an award ceremony held in Dubai, Forbes Middle East celebrated the region's corporate success and revealed the publication's highly-anticipated ranking of the Top 500 companies in the Arab World 2014.
The award ceremony acknowledged the achievements of some of the top companies across the region including FGB, Dubai Islamic Bank, du, Aramex, Saudi Investment Bank, Kuwait Projects Company, Dar Al-arkan Real Estate Development, and Americana Group.
Other top firms
Other top companies awarded on the night included Saudi International Petrochemical Company, Dubai Investments, Al Tayyar Travel Group, The National Shipping (Bahri), Fawaz Abdulaziz AlHokair and Saudi Cement.
Osman Sultan, chief executive officer of du and Hussein Hachem, chief executive officer of Aramex took to the stage to witness the revealing of their respective companies as the cover stories for this month's coveted issue of Forbes Middle East.
Speaking during the event, Hannah Stewart, Executive Editor at Forbes Middle East, said: "These companies are the legacy of our time. They are bringing diversification to the region's economies and carrying that success to international soil.
Almost every sector was hit by the economic downturn, but this list shows just how far the Middle East has come. The Top 500 companies in the Arab World are a testament to an exciting time here in the Middle East and it is thanks, in part, to the passion and drive of our formidable corporations that this was able to happen."


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