PwC: Five re/insurers listed in the Global Top 100 largest companies by market capitalization

Five insurance entities are listed among the largest public companies by their market capitalization in USD as at 31 March 2018, according to the latest edition of the PwC's Global Top 100: the US domiciled Berkshire Hathaway, the Chinese Ping An Insurance, China Life Insurance and AIA Group and the German Allianz.

Berkshire Hathaway, the only one included in Top 20, has a market capitalization of USD 492 billion and ranks 6th, after the a Top 5 formed almost exclusively of technology companies (Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon.com and Tencent).

The market capitalization of the Global Top 100 has increased by 15% since last year. This compares with a 11.5% increase in the MSCI World Index, the PwC study shows. Yet, a number of companies listed in the Top have recorded outstanding growth rates of their market capitalization, outperforming their peers and thus climbing several positions in the general ranking. Among the first 20 performers in growth rate terms there is just one insurer: Ping An Insurance (90% y-o-y increase in the market capitalization). In absolute terms speaking, there are two insurers listed among the companies with the largest increase in the market capitalization: Ping An Insurance (+ USD 90 billion) and Berkshire Hathaway (+ USD 81 billion, 20%). Amazon.com recorded the largest absolute increase, of USD 278 billion, while in relative terms, the best performers were NVIDIA (+ 119%) and Netflix (+100%).

For a second year in a row, Technology was the largest sector in terms of market capitalization (USD 4,806 billion). Second place was the Financials sector (USD 4,421 billion), but with the highest number of companies (23) and Consumer Goods (USD 2,827 billion) came third. The five insurers listed in Top 100 have a total market capitalization of USD 989 billion.

"Apple is still the world's most valuable public company. However, Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet and Apple are all in the running to become the first ever company to be valued at one trillion dollars, with analysts believing that this could happen by end of 2018," the PwC study shows.

The US still dominates - 54 out of 100 are US companies. This has dropped, however, from 55 in the previous year. Two of the top ten US companies from last year have been replaced by Chinese companies.

The study also looks to the evolution of the Top 100 between 2009 and 2018 (post-crisis). Among the 15 new entries by growth and M&A there are the Chinese life insurance group AIA and the German Allianz. The US has seen an impressive growth of its share of the largest companies, from 45% as at 31 March 2009, to 61% in 2018. Europe was badly hit by the financial crisis and nine companies fell out of the Top 100 between 31 March 2009 and 2017. By market cap Europe represented 27% at 31 March 2009 dropping to 17% in 2018. In 2018, the number of Chinese companies included in Top 100 raised to 12, from 9 in 2009, most of the new entries taking place after 2015.

The full PwC report "Global Top 100 companies by market capitalization" is available here.

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