Contrary to what might be expected, the list of the 50 largest companies in the world by value on the stock market has not changed kings. The technology sector continues to lead the ranking for another year despite all the uncertainty that has surrounded him. In a 2022 marked by war and high inflation, doubts have been widespread in the markets. The technology sector has had to face the added difficult task of returning to normality after its golden age of the pandemic. The landing has been hard. Some of the tech companies have held up in the rankings and some have not, but all of them have paid a heavy price.
Specifically, adding the losses in the market capitalization of Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon and Meta in the last year, a figure of around 4 trillion dollars. This high amount, almost three times the GDP of Spain, represents 59.8% of the total decline in stock market value experienced by the 50 largest companies in the world as a whole. On December 27, 2022, this select club of 50 companies was collectively worth $6.69 trillion less than it was on the same day in 2021.
There are things that have not changed. At the top is Apple. The American firm has seen at the end of the year how protests over the zero Covid policy together with problems with salary payments at its main supplier, the Chinese Foxconn, exposed the seams of the supply chain of the company of the apple. Until Tuesday, Apple had left 28% of its capitalization in 2022. That did not prevent the Cupertino company from still amassing a stock market value of more than 2 trillion dollars. However, worth 874,469 million dollars less than a year ago.
Closely followed by Aramco and Microsoft. The Saudi company, although it is part of one of the sectors that has clearly come out ahead in 2022, such as oil, loses close to 1% of its capitalization while the company behind the most used operating system leaves 29% of its share in the year. its value.
The good year for the oil companies is clear when analyzing the evolution of the other members of the sector that make up the ranking. Exxon, Chevron and Shell have climbed more than 30 places in all three cases. All in all, they have not been the most meteoric climbs. The corporate investment arm of the United Arab Emirates, International Holding Company, has been placed in position number 35. This means that it has risen 187 positions from its place in 2021. In the year the price of its titles rises 169%.
The United States continues to be the nation with the most representatives in the list of the 50 most valuable. Of all of them, 31 are of American origin. China is the second nation with the most ambassadors here with four (Tencent, Kweichow Moutai, Alibaba and ICBC). For its part, in Europe, Switzerland has three (Nestlé, Roche and Novartis), more than the two in the United Kingdom (AstraZeneca and Shell) and France (LVMH and L’Oréal) or the Netherlands (with ASML as the only giant).
The arrival of Reliance Industries to the list is striking. This is the first time that a company of Indian origin enters it. This conglomerate is dedicated, among other activities, to providing electricity within the country. The population growth of Asia drives the strength of companies in the area. This is the case of India, which in 2023 is expected to even surpass China in total population. Reliance scores an increase of around 7% in 2022.
Technology is the largest group, with 15 firms. It is followed by consumption, with 12; health, with 11; the financier, with 5; the oil companies, with 4; the automotive sector, with 2, and energy, with the listed company in India.
But being the most numerous does not mean being the most powerful. This honor is reserved for the aforementioned oil and also for the health sector, which in 2022 has still benefited from the effect of Covid, a disease that refuses to disappear and has once again attacked with force in China. Names like United Health Group (position 7), Johnson & Johnson (8), Eli Lilly (19) or Roche (32) are some of the representatives of the health sector.
On what can be expected this 2023, reflects José Manuel Corrales, professor of Economics and Business at the European University. “High inflation and low growth make 2022 one of the worst years for the world economy since the beginning of the 21st century. The impact of the war in Ukraine, the announcements of layoffs and cuts in big technology companies are just some of the negative events that will have to be faced in 2023, ”he recaps.
“The prospects for the coming months are not rosy, with recessions in many countries, an energy crisis that sees no end and a rise in interest rates that will continue until inflation is controlled, and that will condition the progress of the economy to one and the other side of the Atlantic. After the expansive policy of recent years, in which the ECB came to place the official price of money in negative territory, its Governing Council has decided to increase it four times in five months, until placing the reference rate at 2.5 %. For its part, the US Federal Reserve accumulates seven increases and in the last meeting of the year decided to raise the official price of the dollar by half a point to place it in a range between 4.25% and 4.50% ”, emphasizes Corrales.
The Zuckerberg and Musk debacle
The capitalization ranking is a good picture of the situation of the companies. Meta, the parent of Facebook, has registered the worst performance of a company in the ranking. In one year, it has left more than 647,000 million dollars after its 65% fall on the Stock Market, losing 21 positions with this. This poor performance is a reflection, above all, of the doubts generated by the turn towards the metaverse, a technology that has not yet taken off.
The meteoric growth of the electric car par excellence has been cut short this year. The overheating due to the levels at which it was listed, added to Musk’s foray into Twitter, has taken its toll in the form of a 68% slowdown in its capitalization. Musk has been using Tesla as a source of income to cover Twitter’s losses. Specifically, the tycoon sold shares worth 8.5 billion dollars in April and another 6.9 billion dollars in titles in August. Most recently, in November, he sold the equivalent of $3.95 billion, and in December he parted with an additional 22 million titles worth $3.58 billion. In total, sales exceeded 22.930 million dollars.