Fortune Arabia released today Fortune 500 Arabia, the list that ranks the 500 largest corporations in the Arab region according to their annual revenues. Unveiled seven decades since the inception of the globally acclaimed Fortune 500 list, this new list represents a pivotal moment in the business world in the region, and sets a new standard for transparency, integrity, and market influence.
The first-of-its-kind list of the largest companies in the Arab region was selected using a methodology based strictly on reported and verified revenues. The total revenues of the companies listed on Fortune 500 Arabia for the current year amounted to approximately 1.6 trillion US dollars, while net profits reached 343 billion US dollars. The data used to compile the list was based on 2022, a year when companies were regaining their footing following the Covid-19 pandemic, only to be plunged directly into the crisis of the Russian-Ukraine war, the global inflation crisis, and the increase in interest rates.
In this momentous release of Fortune 500 Arabia, prominent industry leaders from various sectors have joined as launch partners including Transtek Systems, BAE Systems, Saudi Logistics Services Company (SAL), and Eyad Reda Law Firm (ERLF). Pearl Initiative, a leading NGO that is fostering a corporate culture of accountability and transparency, joined the list of partners as the Governance Partner.
How was the Fortune 500 Arabia list distributed amongst the countries
Saudi Arabia ranked first in terms of the number of companies listed with a total of 152 companies out of 500, representing a share of 30%. Following Saudi Arabia, the UAE held the second rank with a proportion of 17% of the list’s companies, followed by Egypt, Kuwait, and Qatar, respectively. While Saudi companies secured the highest percentage of revenues and profits of the companies listed, the UAE represented the largest percentage of the most profitable companies on the list.
As ranked by Fortune 500 Arabia, the top 10 countries that host the headquarters of the selected companies are as follows: Saudi Arabia (152 companies), the UAE (87), Egypt (56 companies), Kuwait (43 companies), Qatar (36 companies), Morocco (34 companies), Oman (33 companies), Jordan (21 companies), Bahrain and Tunisia (15 companies each).
Revenues of Fortune 500 Arabia companies
More than 150 companies with revenues exceeding at least one billion US dollars, including 23 private companies not listed on the stock exchange were among the companies listed on Fortune 500 Arabia. The list featured private and government companies not listed on the financial markets, which revealed their revenues either officially or through communication with them by the Fortune Arabia team.
The banking sector and insurance companies topped the Fortune 500 Arabia with a percentage of 28%, followed by the real estate and construction sector, then oil and gas with a proportion of about 7%.
Representation of private companies
Private companies not listed on the financial markets made up 9% of Fortune 500 Arabia, while companies listed on the financial markets constituted 91%. Through incorporating private companies in the list, Fortune 500 Arabia endeavors to encourage large companies not listed on the financial markets towards a further level of data transparency to secure a rank on the list.
“Fortune 500 list has been a well-known classification of global companies since its inception by Fortune magazine almost seven decades ago. Being part of the Fortune 500 list is significant, as it carries specific criteria that hold great importance for shareholders, investors and analysts, and offers substantial opportunities for the companies included in this classification”, said Fortune Arabia’s Editor-in-Chief, Hamoud Almahmoud.
He added: "Fortune 500 Arabia comes at a time when companies and markets are increasingly focusing on listing in financial markets and making informed economic decisions. Having a platform that provides trusted data for companies in the region through several key indicators is essential for today's decision-makers, and that’s exactly what Fortune 500 Arabia will provide."
Commenting on the launch of Fortune 500 Arabia, Alan Murray, CEO of Fortune Media stated that “Fortune is the global gold standard for benchmarking business success. The launch of the Fortune 500 Arabia is an indication that the Arab world has assumed a center-stage position in the world of business. These are the companies you need to pay attention to if you are operating in the region. Congratulations to our partners at Majarra for making this important list a reality.”
Fortune 500 Arabia is issued by Fortune Arabia, a Majarra website, licensed by Fortune Global. The complete list is available on the website: fortunearabia.com.