Last year was a tough one for companies worldwide, with almost every sector suffering a hit from the pandemic. This has reflected on their performance, and executives have had to make hard decisions that most had not faced before. The Middle East was no exception.
It is within this context that we release our annual ranking of the top 100 listed companies in the Middle East for 2021, featuring the biggest and the most valuable and profitable companies in the region.
Most are not as valuable or profitable as they were last year. The aggregate sales of the 100 companies in 2021 stand at $550 billion, while aggregate net income reached $91 billion—a drop of 17.9% and 38.5%, respectively, compared to the 2020 list. It’s worth noting that revenues had also decreased in last year’s list for 57% of the companies, with 67% showing a decrease in net income.
On the brighter side, companies’ stocks are showing a rebound this year as more positive sentiment hits the markets. Business leaders are expecting better performance in 2021 compared to 2020. As a result, the aggregate market value of the 100 companies stands at $3 trillion, an increase of 30.4% compared to a year ago. The aggregate value of assets increased 2.9% to reach $3.6 trillion. In total, 93% of the companies showed an increase in their market value compared to 2020, and 62% of the companies were able to increase the value of their assets.
Saudi Arabia dominates the list with 37 companies led by Saudi Aramco at #1, followed by the U.A.E. with 20 companies led by the First Abu Dhabi Bank at #4. In third place is Qatar, with 17 companies led by QNB at #2.
The banking and financial services sector is the most represented in the list with 42 entries. Five of the top 10 companies are banks.The real estate and construction and industrials sectors are joint second with 10 entries each. Telecommunications is third with nine entries.