These are the 25 biggest companies in South Africa


Despite what was widely seen as tough year last year, South Africa’s 25 biggest companies managed to grow their combined market capitalisation to R10.8 trillion, compared to the R10 trillion they were worth in 2017.

Two of the biggest changes to happen among the top 25 companies was the rise of Naspers to become the third biggest company in the country – and the first South African company to hit a market cap exceeding R1 trillion – as well as the spectacular crash of Steinhoff International, whose ‘accounting irregularities’ have all but destroyed the companies market cap.

As of 22 March 2018, Naspers has a market capitalisation of R1.45 trillion, below the listed share capital of R1.57 trillion from British American Tobacco, and the R2.18 trillion from global brewing giant, ABInBev, which swallowed up SAB in 2016.

Naspers’ market cap is up 52% from just under R1 trillion (R954 billion) in early 2017. Steinhoff, meanwhile, tanked from R285 billion in March 2017, to a fraction over R13 billion – a loss of 95%.

Aside from the shifts and the big loss of Steinhoff, the top 25 companies on the JSE have seen little change over the years. It still features large mining and mineral groups, with the big banks and telco groups maintaining their top spots.

Among SA’s banks, FirstRand is still the biggest financial house in the country with a market cap of R387 billion (+33%), though the gap between it and Standard Bank has narrowed, with the latter growing its market cap to R353 billion (+38%).

However, one of the biggest changes in 2018 is the inclusion of Capitec Bank in the top 25, where the group now sits with a market cap of R103.6 billion, up from around R84 billion a year ago (+23%).

Looking at South Africa’s telco giants, another shift has happened, with Vodacom Group overtaking MTN Group as the largest listed mobile operator in the country.

Vodacom saw its market cap grow by 17% to R266 billion, while MTN’s market cap declined marginally (-1.1%) to R230 billion.

These are the 25 biggest listed companies in the country:

Rank Company Market Cap
1 AB InBev SA R2 178.6 billion
2 British American Tobacco R1 565.1 billion
3 Naspers R1 447.6 billion
4 Glencore Xtrata R872.5 billion
5 Richemont R561.0 billion
6 BHP Billiton R492.9 billion
7 Anglo American R397.2 billion
8 FirstRand R386.9 billion
9 Standard Bank Group R353.0 billion
10 Vodacom Group R266.3 billion
11 Sasol R259.9 billion
12 MTN Group R230.4 billion
13 Old Mutual R204.4 billion
14 Sanlam R199.5 billion
15 Barclays Africa (Absa) R164.8 billion
16 South32 R157.5 billion
17 Shoprite Holdings R151.2 billion
18 Nedbank Group R142.8 billion
19 Remgro R120.4 billion
20 Aspen Pharmacare R117.1 billion
21 Mondi Plc R116.2 billion
22 Discovery Holdings R115.0 billion
23 RMB Holdings R114.8 billion
24 Capitec R103.6 billion
25 Kumba Iron Ore R97.6 billion

Read: Naspers’ bet on Tencent has led to one of the biggest VC payoffs in history



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