Thu, Jul 15, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Dozens of firms make top 100 list

GREATER-CHINA MARKET The highest spot achieved by a Taiwanese company was fifth, but 43 of them made it into the rankings, more than from China or Hong Kong


Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) was the highest-ranking Taiwanese enterprise in a list of top 100 listed "Greater China" companies last year, according to a survey released by Chinese-language Business Weekly yesterday.

The magazine surveyed 3,659 publicly listed companies in Tai-wan, China and Hong Kong, and ranked them by profitbility and assets. Cathay placed fifth.

Forty-three Taiwanese companies made the list. China had 37 and Hong Kong 20.

"This show Taiwan is ahead of the greater Chinese market," Wenny Wang (王文靜), deputy managing director of the magazine, said at a press conference yesterday.

Last year's dark horse Quanta Computer Inc (廣達) made its debut in the top 10 this year, soaring from 19th to the ninth and outpacing Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑 石化), Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) and state-owned Chung-hwa Telecom Co (中華電信).

HSBC Holdings Plc lead off the list, followed by Sinopec Corp (中國石油化工), PetroChina Co (中國石油天然氣) and China Mobile (中國移動).

Despite seeing a 11 percent profit growth last year, Shinkong Investment Trust Co (新光金控), dropped out of the top 10, but not by much. It was ranked No. 11.

Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫), research director at the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (台經院),attributed the Taiwanese companies' success to their efficient management and ability to make huge profits.

"It's a battle of life and death. With no apparent progress, it means out," Sun Hsiu-hui (孫秀惠), deputy editor-chief at Business Weekly, said at the press conference.

Most of the Taiwanese firms on the list were electronic technology and financial holding companies, while most of the Chinese companies were state-run. Hong Kong's companies came largely from the financial services sector.

"A huge market makes it easier for Chinese companies to make a profit of more than NT$10 billion [US$337.3 million]," said Evans Tu (杜書伍), president of Synnex Technology International Corp (聯強). "I believe there will be more Chinese companies entering top 100 this year due to this factor."

The only way Taiwanese companies will be able to stay on the chart or move higher is to exploit the China market, Tu said, adding that companies need to move as quickly as possible before the market is saturated.

The total revenue of companies in the chart amounted to NT$29 trillion, a 40 percent growth from 2002. The minimum to enter the chart rose to NT$4.3 billion from NT$3.1 billion last year.

The rotation rate was as high as 15 percent, twice that of Fortune's top 500 US companies survey.

"It shows that compared with the US, competition between Taiwan, China and Hong Kong is fiercer," Wang said.

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