Prosus, is Africa’s largest company by market capitalization by a big margin. Prosus, born out of the media conglomerate Naspers listing its international internet business, has a market cap of $119.141 billion.
Interestingly, Naspers is the second biggest company with a market cap of $62.259 billion. This is according to the latest African Business report.
South Africa takes 8 out of the top 10 largest companies on the continent, with Morocco’s Maroc Telecoms, market cap $11.082 billion, at position 8, and Kenya’s Safaricom at position 10 with a market cap of $9.966 billion, as the only exceptions.
South Africa’s First Rand Bank is the largest financial institution on the continent with a market value of $12.533 billion and a net income of $1.701 billion.
South Africa dominates the market capitalisation of these rankings, partly because it was for many years Africa’s top economy and partly because many leading South African firms have spread worldwide and grown their market capitalisations through overseas primary listings.
But South Africa’s share of the Top 250 Company ranking continues to slip back because other African companies have been growing more strongly – at least before the crisis hit.
South Africa now has 100 companies on the list, down from 109 in 2019.
South Africa is struggling to resuscitate an economy damaged by years of mismanagement. The IMF now forecasts a 5.8% GDP contraction this year, as a result of the pandemic, while Moody’s has dropped the country’s credit rating to negative and expects a contraction of 6.5%.
The Stock Exchange of Mauritius has the biggest increase in listings, with five additional members of the top club. The business report lists Cairo-based Afreximbank, a new entrant on the list at 57, with market capitalisation of $2.0bn. Other additions are Phoenix Beverages, investment group Ciel, and property investors Ascencia (part of Rogers Group) and Lighthouse Capital (renamed from Greenbay Properties in December 2018).
Malawi’s two new entrants are its leading bank, National Bank of Malawi, (at 177) and Press Corp (221), which owns 51.5% of Natbank.
Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe have all lost companies on the listing. Zimbabwe is down from nine companies on the list in 2019 to two this year. Brewer Cervejas de Moçambique, previously the sole inclusion on the list from Bolsa de Valores de Moçambique (BVM), has dropped off this year.
While some of Africa’s most attractive investment destinations are found in East Africa, this did not stop the region’s share of the Top 250 ranking falling from 21 companies totalling $26.3bn (4% of total market cap) last year to 17 entries totalling $20.2bn (3.4% of the total) this year.
Vodacom Tanzania rose up the ranks (up from 135 to 98) as well as Tanzania Cigarette Company (up from 146 to 105). Other East African companies on the list are banks including Kenya-based giant bank, Equity Group Holdings (82), which has 14Million customers and subsidiaries in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan, and DRC.
Another giant economy, Ethiopia, does not yet have a stock exchange or companies listed on other exchanges, and is an omission from the Top 250 African Companies.
In terms of increased share of the total, the three North African markets score the biggest gains, increasing the total number of companies in the ranking to 83, up from 70 in 2019.
Tunisia has seven more companies bringing its total to 12, after falling from seven in 2018 to five last year. Morocco has added four to reach 30 companies on the list and Egypt has added two to reach 41.
The biggest companies in North Africa region include Maroc Telecom, up from position 10 last year to position 8 currently, despite a 16% fall in market capitalization to $11.1bn and Attijariwafa Bank, up from position 17 to position 15 this year.
Egypt’s Commercial International Bank whose $6.1bn market capitalization, move up the ranking from last year’s 27 to 18.
Morocco’s Banque Centrale Populaire with market capitalisation of $4.1bn is ranked at 28. Telco MTN Nigeria soared into the Top 250 ranking at 23 after its $5.1bn NSE listing by introduction in May 2019 and Airtel Africa joined the list at 37.
West Africa’s second-biggest cement firm, Bua Cement, joined the ranking at position 34 with marketcap of $3.1bn after a $3.3bn listing on the Nigerian bourse in January 2020.
Diversified agricultural and foods business Flour Mills of Nigeria joined the ranking at position 222.