What do energy companies and financial institutions have in common? They both belong to vital and strategic industries, they rake in tons of money, they have the biggest assets in the world, and they are among the largest companies in the world.
But what actually makes a company large? Companies are usually listed based on its sales figures. Other rankings make use of a company’s market capitalization as basis. Forbes Magazine, however, has released a list based on the combined weight of a company’s sales revenues, profits, assets and market capitalization. The standouts were the energy firms and the financial sector.
Here are the top ten biggest companies in the world.
1. Exxon Mobil Corporation – United States
Exxon Mobil is an energy company that is involved in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas; manufacture of petroleum products; and the transportation and sale of crude oil, natural gas and petroleum products. Its products are marketed all over the world. It also has interests in facilities responsible for the generation of electrical power. The company was borne out of the largest merger in U.S. corporate history, when Exxon and Mobil merged in 1999.
2. JPMorgan Chase & Co. – United States
JPMorgan Chase is a financial holding company that deals with investment banking, retail financial services, card services, commercial banking, asset management and treasury and securities services. Its main subsidiaries are (1) JP Morgan Chase Bank, National Association, a national bank with branches in 23 states, and (2) Chase Bank USA, National Association, a bank that issues credit cards. The company was formed after the merger between J.P. Morgan & Co. and Chase Manhattan Corporation in 2000.
3. General Electric Company – United States
General Electric is a diversified corporation that deals with financial and technological services. Its offerings include aircraft engines, water processing, power generation, household appliances, medical imaging, industrial products, and business and retail financing. It also has a significant stake in the media sector, owning 49 percent of NBC Universal.
4. Royal Dutch Shell plc – Netherlands
Royal Dutch Shell is an oil and gas company based in the Netherlands. It has interests in various businesses related to the energy sector. It also has stakes in the chemical industry. The company is actively involved in the exploration and distribution of energy, as well as the manufacture and marketing of oil products and chemicals.
5. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited – China
ICBC is a financial institution and is the largest company from Asia. The bank provides a variety of services. Among them are personal deposits, personal loans, bank cards, credit cards, fund investment and personal financing services, among others; corporate banking services, including corporate deposits, loans, international settlements, international financing, management of corporate annuity, assets custody, investment banking and trade financing services, among others; electronic banking services, including online banking, telephone banking, mobile phone banking services and financial consultation.
6. HSBC Holdings plc – United Kingdom
HSBC is a banking and financial services institution with presence in 87 countries and territories in six geographical regions. It serves more than 95 million clients in over 7,500 offices worldwide. Among its offerings are (1) personal financial services, (2) commercial banking, (3) global banking and markets, and (4) global private banking. It was established in 1991 by the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation to act as the group’s new holding company.
7. PetroChina Company Limited – China
PetroChina is an oil and gas company based in China. It is involved in the exploration, development, production, refining and sale of crude oil and natural gas. It also produces and markets basic petrochemical products, refined oil products and derivative chemical products. PetroChina also transmits crude oil and refined oil products, and also transmits and sells natural gas.
8. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. – United States
Berkshire Hathaway is a holding company with subsidiaries in different sectors. The company’s insurance business conducts both primary and reinsurance basis. Berkshire Hathaway has steadily grown over the years through mergers and acquisitions. Among the more recent transactions are its purchase of Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC in 2010, the acquisition of the reinsurance business of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, also in 2010, merger with Wesco Financial Corporation in 2011, and its purchase of Princeton Insurance Company from the Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Company in 2012.
9. Wells Fargo & Company – United States
Wells Fargo is a financial services company that is involved in banking, insurance, investments, mortgage banking, investment banking, retail banking, brokerage, and consumer finance through its various branches, the Internet and other distribution channels. All these are available to clients, consumers, businesses and institutions in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and in other countries around the world. Wells Fargo’s business is divided into three main units, namely (1) community banking, (2) wholesale banking, and (3) wealth, brokerage and retirement. Other financial services are available as well though its different subsidiaries. These services include wholesale banking, mortgage banking, consumer finance, insurance agency and brokerage services, computer and data processing services, trust services, investment advisory services, mortgage-backed securities servicing and venture capital investment.
10. Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras – Brazil
It is the largest company from Latin America, Petrobras is an integrated oil and gas firm based in Brazil. It is involved in the research, extraction, refining, processing, trade and transport of oil from wells, shale and other rocks, its derivatives, natural gas and other liquid hydrocarbons, as well as in activities related to energy, development, production, transport, distribution and commercialization of energy. The company has a presence not only in Brazil, but also in 24 other countries all over the world. It has projects on five of the world’s seven continents. It has also been awarded a total of 132 concession contracts for the exploration of oil in 194 blocks. Petrobras’ business has been divided into six divisions, namely (1) exploration and production; (2) provision; (3) gas and energy; (4) biofuel; (5) distribution, and (6) international.