Saudi state-owned oil giant Aramco ranked highest on Forbes’ top 100 Middle East companies for 2023. The list released on Tuesday reinforced the Gulf’s status as the centre of economic gravity for the region, particularly its energy and financial sectors.
In its list, the US-based business news outlet used the main criteria of sales figures, revenue and market value. The companies on the list are from the Middle East and North Africa and are all listed on the stock exchange.
Aramco again took the top spot, with Forbes noting its $604.4 billion revenue in 2022 and market value of $2.1 trillion. The Saudi government owns more than 90% of Aramco, but in 2019 Riyadh decided to float a 1% stake in the company on the country’s stock exchange.
Aramco earned an all-time high of $161 billion in profits last year. However, Aramco’s profits fell by 19% in the first quarter of 2023 due to relatively low global oil prices. Aramco delayed another public offering in May.
Last week, Forbes listed Aramco as the second on its Global 2000 list of the world’s largest companies. US banking giant JPMorgan Chase was first, while the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China was third.