Tuesday, October 23, 2007

PetroChina, the Next World Largest Company

PetroChina, the state-controlled Chinese oil and gas group, this week overtook General Electric to become the world’s second-biggest company by market capitalisation. After it lists on the Shanghai stock exchange, which it is expected to do next month, it could even surpass ExxonMobil to become the world’s most valuable quoted business.

But PetroChina’s growth and potential, and above all the scale of its oil and gas reserves, suggest it deserves to rank alongside Exxon. Its total oil and gas reserves at the end of last year added up to 20.5bn barrels of oil equivalent, according to a new report from PFC Energy, a consultancy. On the same basis, Exxon’s were 22.8bn barrels of oil equivalent, and Royal Dutch Shell’s just 11.3bn.

The A shares to be listed in Shanghai, in an offer that could raise $10bn or more, could trade at a substantial premium over the price of the Hong Kong-listed H shares, putting the number one spot by market capitalisation within reach. With a flow of good news, that target might well be attained.

Below are the largest companies by market capitalisation data provided by Thomson Datastream (As at Oct 17) and there are already 5 Chinese companies listed as the top 15 just to note. It will be quite soon that the Chinese companies will dominate the top Fortune 500 companies at the rate the economy in China is rapidly growing.

RankGroupMarket cap
3General Electric$420bn
4China Mobil$382bn
9Royal Dutch Shell$273bn
12China Life Insurance$241bn
15BHP Billiton$224bn

No comments: