TSMC slips in global top 100 firms list

GLOBAL POWERHOUSE::Microsoft became the world’s most valuable firm, ending Apple’s seven-year reign, while nearly half of all unicorn start-ups came from the US

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Aug 15, 2019 - Page 12

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) has again made the list of global top 100 companies in terms of market capitalization, although its ranking this year fell to 37th from 23rd last year due to a value decline, a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) showed yesterday.

TSMC, which is the world’s largest contract maker of chips used in smartphones, laptops and high-performance computing devices, is the only Taiwanese firm that secured a spot on the list for a second consecutive year, PwC said.

The annual report ranks the top 100 global companies by market capitalization and compares how the list has evolved over the past year and decade. It identifies the risers and fallers, looks at regional and sector dynamics and provides a view on how the global landscape has changed over time.

TSMC stayed on the list with a market value of US$206 billion, a 6.3 percent decline from last year, bucking the trend of a 5 percent increase for the top 100 firms and a 6 percent pickup for the technology sector, the report said.

The technology industry continues to hold its place as the largest sector in terms of market capitalization at US$5,691 billion, although it was hardest hit during a sell-off linked to the US-China trade dispute, the report said.

The healthcare, consumer services and telecommunications sectors grew 15 percent each, while financial conglomerates saw a 3 percent retreat, the report said.

The US continues to dominate with 54 firms on the list, representing 63 percent of overall value, up from 51 percent 10 years ago, PwC said.

Microsoft Corp took the crown as the most valuable public company for the first time, ending a seven-year reign by Apple Inc, which dropped to second, followed by Amazon.com Inc, Alphabet Inc, Berkshire Hathaway Inc, Facebook Inc, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴), Tencent Holdings Ltd (騰訊), Johnson & Johnson and Exxon Mobile Corp.

Eleven European companies dropped off the list, an overall 12 percent decline in the region’s value share from last year.

The decline was due in part to the Brexit drama, the report said.

“The US continues to be the powerhouse of the global top 100 firms, thanks to its strong economic showings,” PwC Taiwan official Eileen Liang (梁華玲) said.

In the long term, the international consultancy expects to see a growing contribution from India and other developing markets, including technology companies in greater China that would challenge the rankings, Liang said.

The prominence of companies from leading global unicorns in greater China might be a precursor to this realignment, she said.

A unicorn is a privately held start-up valued at more than US$1 billion.

Nearly half — 48 percent — of the top 100 unicorns are from the US, while greater China contributes 31 percent, PwC said.

As unicorns are more likely to have public initial offerings and acquisitions, more top 100 firms should come from the greater China area, Liang said.