Among the world's top 10 companies by market value, Chinese companies took up three spots. According to the latest Thomson Reuters survey report released by the UK's Financial Times, the China National Petroleum Corporation (PetroChina) was second only to Exxon Mobil.
China Mobile, the world's largest telecommunications operator, and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world's largest bank, ranked fourth and fifth respectively. Although it did not make the list of world's top 10 companies, China Life still tops the insurance industry for the world.
According to the report, the reason why Chinese companies have had such excellent performances is partly due to the recent market fluctuations. After racking up a terrible performance in 2008, the Shanghai Composite Index cumulatively rose by 17 percent this year. Thus dual-listed ICBC, worth $180bn based on its Shanghai price (over 70 per cent of the bank is held by the Chinese government) can now buy HSBC twice over and still have enough change for several of the biggest American banks.
Chinese and US banks have also switched places in other aspects. Most noteworthy is that a larger proportion of bank assets in the US have now fallen into the hands of the government and a larger deficit has been reported.
By contrast, ICBC earned more profits in 2007 than any other bank. It had realized profits of nearly 14 billion USD during the first three quarters of 2008.
As a matter of fact, among the 20 companies that made the most profit in 2007, three are from China. For that whole fiscal year, the net profit made by China Mobile could purchase all of British Telecom as well as Telecom Egypt. Six years ago, Chinese people could not even imagine a situation of this scale.
However, scale itself can generate its own movement. As fund managers emerge in a continuous stream, index trackers have no alternative but to add stocks of ICBC as well as PetroChina in their index tracking lists. But, scale, just like popularity, experiences ups and downs.
With rise comes fall. No other country is as familiar with this as Japan. Looking back at the year 1989, eight Japanese companies dominated the list of top 10 companies by market value.
Two decades ago, the total market value of those eight companies reached 550 billion USD, even greater than the present-day combined market value of Japan's entire banking and communication industries.
By People's Daily Online