South Africa dominates top 10 list of Africa’s most valuable firms

Eight of the top 10 most valuable firms in Africa are located in South Africa, according to African Business magazine’s latest ranking of the continent’s top 250 companies by market capitalisation.

The 2020 edition of the survey revealed that the total market cap of firms is down 18% on last year’s total, depicting a market in freefall during a global pandemic which has seen economic activity paused to fight the spread of COVID-19.

South Africa’s Prosus – a subsidiary of e-commerce group Naspers with a 31% stake in Chinese tech giant Tencent – was ranked as Africa’s most valuable company with a total market cap of US$1.19 trillion.

Naspers was placed in second along with other South African companies in the top 10 including luxury goods retailer Financière Richemont, miner Anglo American and its platinum company, banks Firstrand and Standard Bank Group and telecoms firm Vodacom group.

Moroccan telecoms giant Maroc Telecom and Kenya’s Safaricom were the only firms outside South Africa ranked in the top 10. However, East Africa is still the continent’s most attractive investment destination based on capital gains, according to the survey.

“Some of Africa’s most attractive investment destinations are found in the East. But this did not stop the region’s share of the Top 250 ranking falling from 21 companies totalling $26.3 billion last year to 17 entries totalling $20.2 billion this year,” said the report.

Outside of the top 10, the number of South African companies on the list of 250 actually fell from 109 in 2019 to 100 this year, as other African markets have shown stronger growth, at least before the crisis hit.