The largest companies in the world based on market capitalization work in a variety of market sectors, such as technology, communication services, energy, consumer cyclical, and financial services.
Companies use market capitalization, which is the value of all the shares in the market, to figure out how much a company is worth.
The Johannesburg Stock Exchange is the biggest stock exchange in Africa, with the JSE top 40 having a market capitalization of over 180 billion Rand (10.4 billion dollars).
The total market capitalization of the JSE ranks it among the top 20 in the world. The goal of the exchange is to help investors and companies from around the world gain access to capital markets in Africa.
In 2023, the JSE has covered five financial markets: Equities, Bonds, Financial, Commodity, and Interest Rate Derivatives.
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What is Market Capitalization?
Market capitalization is the amount that the stock market says a company is worth. It is the market value of all shares that are still in circulation.
To figure out a company’s market cap, you’ll need to multiply the number of outstanding shares by the current market value of a single share.
Market cap = current share price x total number of outstanding shares
Companies can be divided into three groups based on their market capitalization: large-cap, mid-cap, and small-cap.
Market capitalization is often used to figure out how big a company is and then compare its financial performance to that of other companies of different sizes.
Based on market capitalization, here are some of the biggest companies in South Africa.
9 Biggest Companies in South Africa
Naspers is a South African multinational company that deals in internet services, technology, and multimedia. The company was founded by W.A. Hofmeyr in 1915 and has its headquarters in Cape Town.
The company has interests in online retail, publishing, and venture capital investment. As part of a cross-ownership structure, Naspers’ main shareholder is its Dutch-listed investment subsidiary Prosus, which owns about 49% of its parent.
As of January 2023, Naspers grew to be worth $40.16 Billion on the market. Based on the market cap, Naspers is now the 427th most valuable company in the world.
2. Anglo American Platinum
Anglo American Platinum Limited, which makes up about 38% of the world’s annual platinum supply, is the world’s largest producer of platinum.
Most of the group’s operations are to the north and northeast of Johannesburg, which is in South Africa.
As of January 2023, Anglo American Platinum is worth $23.131 Billion on the market which is a slight drop from previous months.
3. First Rand
This company is one of the biggest financial institutions in South Africa. It offers retail, commercial, corporate, and public sector customers banking, insurance, and investment products and services. The company was founded in 1838 and was listed on JSE and the Namibian stock exchange.
The group works in South Africa and seven other important African countries: Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Ghana, and Nigeria.
As of January 2023, FirstRand is worth $21.07 Billion on the market based on the market cap. This makes FirstRand the 798th most valuable company in the world.
4. MTN Group
MTN Group Limited, which used to be called M-Cell, is a South African multinational mobile telecommunications company that works in many countries in Africa and Asia. It was founded in 1994 and has its head office in Johannesburg.
In 2020, MTN had 280 million subscribers, which made it the largest mobile network operator in Africa and the eighth largest in the world. One-third of the company’s income comes from Nigeria, where it has a market share of about 35%.
As of January 2023, MTN Group is worth $13.74 Billion on the market. Based on the market cap, MTN Group is now the 1154th most valuable company in the world.
5. Standard Bank Group
Standard Bank started out as The Standard Bank of South Africa, which was a branch of the British Overseas Bank.
The bank was created in 1862 when South African politician John Paterson together with a group of businessmen, started a bank in London. At first, it was called the Standard Bank of British South Africa. In 1863, the bank opened in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Soon after opening, it merged with several other banks, including the Commercial Bank of Port Elizabeth, the Colesberg Bank, the British Kaffrarian Bank, and the Fauresmith Bank, to become Standard bank.
As of January 2023, the market value of Standard Bank Group is $16.51 Billion. This makes Standard Bank Group the 1007th most valuable company in the world, based on its market capitalization.
6. Vodacom Group
Vodacom Group Limited is a mobile communications company in South and West Africa. It has more than 55 million customers who use its voice, messaging, data, and converged services.
The company was founded in South Africa in 1994 when Telkom South Africa and Vodafone partnered. It now has networks in Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, and Lesotho.
It also serves business customers in more than 32 African countries, such as Nigeria, Zambia, Angola, Kenya, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, and Cameroon.
As of January 2023, Vodacom is worth $12.73 Billion on the market. By market cap, Vodacom is now the 1222nd most valuable company in the world.
7. Capitec Bank
Capitec Bank is a small bank in South Africa. The bank was founded in 2001 by Jannie Mouton, Michiel Le Roux and Riaan Stassen. As of August 2017, the bank had the second most retail customers in South Africa, with 120,000 new accounts being opened each month.
As of January 2023, Capitec Bank is worth $12.98 billion on the market by Market cap. This makes Capitec Bank the 1202nd most valuable company in the world.
Sasol Limited is a company based in Sandton, South Africa that works with both energy and chemicals. The company was started in 1950 in Sasolburg, South Africa.
It was based on methods that German chemists and engineers first came up with in the early 1900s. Today, Sasol makes liquid fuels, chemicals, nuclear, coaltar, and electricity. It also develops and sells technologies, such as synthetic fuel technologies.
As of January 2023, Sasol is worth $10.64 Billion on the market. By market cap, Sasol is now the 1403rd most valuable company in the world.
9. Gold Fields
Gold Fields Limited, which used to be known as The Gold Fields of South Africa, is one of the biggest gold mining companies in the world.
The company is listed on both the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and the New York Stock Exchange. It is based in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 1998, the gold assets of Gold Fields of South Africa Limited and Gencor Limited were combined to form the company.
Cecil Rhodes started the company in 1887 when he started Gold Fields of South Africa Limited. In 2019, Gold Field was the eighth biggest gold producer in the world.
As of January 2023, Gold Fields is worth $10.71 Billion on the market. By market cap, Gold Fields is now the 1397th most valuable company in the world.
Some of the biggest companies in South Africa are also some of the biggest on the whole continent, and they are worth a lot of money. This means that these companies are bigger and worth more than the economies of some countries.
The biggest companies in South Africa today are mostly in the finance, tech, and energy industries. Time will tell if these high-fliers can stay at the top, and other industries may come along to try to take their places.