The World’s 50 Most Profitable Companies in 2019
Here is the list of the world’s most profitable companies in 2019:
|Rank||Company||Fortune Global 500 Rank||Profit ($M)||Profit Change|
|3||Industrial & Commercial Bank of China||26||45002||+6.3%|
|5||China Construction Bank||31||38498||+7.4%|
|6||JPMorgan Chase & Co.||41||32474||+32.9%|
|8||Agricultural Bank of China||36||30657||+7.4%|
|9||Bank of America Corp.||58||28147||+54.4%|
|10||Bank of China||44||27225||+6.7%|
|11||Royal Dutch Shell||3||23352||+79.9%|
|20||China Development Bank||67||16744||+0.7%|
|22||Ping An Insurance||29||16237||+23.2%|
|25||Johnson & Johnson||109||15297||+1076.7%|
|31||Rio Tinto Group||303||13638||+55.6%|
|33||Alibaba Group Holding||182||13094||+35.4%|
|38||China Merchants Bank||188||12179||+17.3%|
|39||Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing||363||12044||+6.2%|
|43||China Mobile Communications||56||11745||+7.4%|
|47||Bank of Communications||150||11131||+7.1%|
The world’s most profitable company in 2019 was Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia's largest taxpayer. The oil and gas giant pushed Apple, the most profitable company in 2018, 2017 and 2016, from the top spot in the rankings. Overall financial reporting data for 2018 on which the 2019 Fortune Global 500 is based, has not yet had time to reflect the negative consequences of the trade war between the United States and China unleashed by U.S. President Donald Trump.
Among the top 50 most profitable companies in the world, Chinese state banks and state corporations are struggling to dominate American IT giants, global oil and gas industry leaders and America’s premier financial corporations. The above list also includes South Korean, Japanese, German, French and Russian companies. Corporate profits are growing along with the growth of the world economy. But a slowdown is already looming on the horizon, and Donald Trump’s imposition of tariffs on Chinese goods and aggressive, market-disrupting tweets are only hastening the onset of a U.S. recession and more of China's retaliatory, no-less-stringent measures against the United States.
Already, due to increased U.S. import duties and the rising wages for Chinese workers, dozens of American, Asian and European transnational corporations (including Apple, Sharp, Dell, Komatsu, GoPro, Foxconn, HP, Nintendo) are withdrawing production en masse from China and moving to Southeast Asia, Mexico, India and Taiwan. Vietnam is particularly benefiting from this trend. Soon, the familiar product inscription “Made in Vietnam” will replace the usual “Made in China”. The devaluation of the Renminbi (RMB) will not reverse this trend, but only add fury to Donald Trump's tweets accusing China of manipulating the exchange rates of its national currency.
A large-scale trade war and a slowing world economy can bring about a sharp reduction in hydrocarbon prices, which will negatively affect the profits of oil and gas companies and budgets Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Russia, Kazakhstan, etc. It’s likely that the planned IPO of Saudi Aramco will be postponed until better times. In addition, negative consumer expectations in developed countries will worsen sales of new iPhones and iPads. In the near future, only Facebook shareholders shouldn’t fear falling profits, since humanity seems unable to resist sharing content on the world’s number-one social network.
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About the Author
Sergey Karpenko is a co-founder of Asian-links.com and a value investor who has lived in Asia for many years.
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