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The World’s Biggest Corporations that I Never Heard of


Back in July Fortune came out with the World’s Biggest Corporations. According to Forbes, “Companies are ranked by total revenues for their respective fiscal years ended on or before March 31, 2010.”  Despite each company being massive,  I was shocked how many within the top 100 that I had never heard of!

World’s Biggest Corporations By Revenue

At the top you obviously have your

  1. Wal-Mart,
  2. Royal Dutch Shell,
  3. Exxon Mobil
  4. BP
  5. Toyota

But what about the other 95? Here are some of the ones I had never heard of that are found within the top 50 largest corporation by revenue (descriptions from Google Finance unless otherwise noted).

Sinopec – 7th Largest Corporation

“Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Company Limited is a China-based petrochemicals company. The Company’s integrated petrochemical complex processes crude oil into a range of products, including synthetic fibers, resins and plastics, intermediate petrochemicals and petroleum products. It principally operates in four operating segments: synthetic fibres, resins and plastics, intermediate petrochemicals and petroleum products.”

State Grid – 8th Largest Corporation

From Wikipedia, “the largest electric power transmission and distribution company in China and in the world”

Total – 14th Largest Corporation

“TOTAL S.A. (TOTAL), together with its subsidiaries and affiliates worldwide, is an integrated international oil and gas company. With operations in more than 130 countries, TOTAL engages in all aspects of the petroleum industry, including Upstream operations (oil and gas exploration, development and production, liquefied natural gas (LNG)) and Downstream operations (refining, marketing and the trading and shipping of crude oil and petroleum products).”

BNP Paribas – 18th Largest Corporation

“BNP Paribas SA is a France-based bank group with operations throughout the world. It has three core businesses: Retail Banking, Asset Management and Services, as well as Corporate and Investment Banking. Retail Banking comprises the French Retail Banking division, BNL Banca Commerciale in Italy and the International Retail Banking and Financial Services division. Asset Management and Services business is organized around three lines, including Wealth and Asset Management, Insurance and Securities Services.”

Assicurazioni Generali – 19th Largest Corporation

From Wikipedia, “Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A.  is the largest insurance company in Italy and one of the largest in Europe….In 2007, Assicurazioni Generali Group was the fourth largest insurance group in the world by revenue after AXA (France), Allianz (Germany), and Berkshire Hathaway (United States).”  According to Forbes’ List it still larger than those four companies.

ENI – 24th Largest Corporation

“Enersis S.A. (Enersis), through its subsidiaries are engaged in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Peru. As of June 11, 2010, the Company owned 60% of Empresa Nacional de Electricidad S.A. (Endsea Chile) and 99.1% of Chilectra S.A. As of June 11, 2010, ENDESA S.A. (Endesa Spain), a Spanish electricity generation and distribution company, owns 60.6% of Enersis. Enel S.p.A. (Enel), an Italian generation and distribution company, owns through a wholly owned subsidiary 92.1% of Endesa Spain.”

E.ON – 27th largest Corporation

“E.ON AG (E.ON) is a power and gas company. The Company’s operations are organized into separate market units. The Central Europe market unit focuses on the Company’s electricity business and the downstream gas business in central Europe. Pan-European Gas market unit operates its upstream and downstream gas business, and also holds interests principally in the energy business in Europe outside of Germany.”

GDF Suez – 29th Largest Corporation

“GDF Suez SA is a France-based natural gas and electricity supplier. It has organized its operations in six business lines: Energy France, comprising a unit that supplies natural gas and electricity to private customers, professionals and businesses throughout France; Energy Europe and International, engaged in the production of electricity and distribution and supplying of gas out through five divisions in Benelux and Germany, the rest of European countries, North and Latin America, Middle East, Asia and Africa; Global Gas and Liquid Natural Gas (LNG), which includes exploration-production, supply, sales and liquid natural gas (LNG) project-related activities; Infrastructures, which operates the transport, supply and storage of natural gas and the regasification of LNG; Energy Services, providing consulting services for the design and construction of electrical, nuclear, gas and industrial facilities; and Environment, specialized in the provision of water, waste treatment and recovery.”

Nippon Telegraph – 31th largest Corporation

“NIPPON TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE CORPORATION (NTT) is a Japan-based telecommunications provider. The Company primarily operates in five business segments. The Regional Communications segment is engaged in the provision of domestic intra-prefectural communication services and incidental services. The Long-distance and International Communications segment is engaged in the provision of domestic inter-prefectural and international communication services and incidental services. The Mobile Communications segment is engaged in the provision of mobile phones services, and the related services. The Data Communications segment is engaged in the provision of system integration and network system services, among others. The Others segment is engaged in the real estate business, system development business, finance business, construction and power business, as well as advanced technology development business, among others.”

McKesson – 34th Largest Corporation

“McKesson Corporation (McKesson) provides medicines, pharmaceutical supplies, information and care management products and services across the healthcare industry. The Company operates in two segments. The McKesson Distribution Solutions segment distributes ethical and drugs, medical-surgical supplies and equipment and health and beauty care products throughout North America. This segment also provides specialty pharmaceutical solutions for biotech and pharmaceutical manufacturers, sells financial, operational and clinical solutions for pharmacies (retail, hospital, long-term care) and provides consulting, outsourcing and other services. This segment includes a 49% interest in Nadro, S.A. de C.V. (Nadro), and a 39% interest in Parata Systems, LLC (Parata). The McKesson Technology Solutions segment delivers enterprise-wide clinical, patient care, financial, supply chain, strategic management and software solutions. This segment also includes its Payor group of businesses.”

Dexia Group – 49th Largest Corporation

“Dexia SA is a Belgian-based bank that focuses on Public and Wholesale Banking, providing local public finance actors with comprehensive banking and financial solutions, and on Retail and Commercial Banking in Europe, mainly Belgium, Luxembourg and Turkey. The commercial franchises in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy and the Iberian Peninsula markets are core markets for Public and Wholesale Banking. Dexia also has a presence in Germany, Japan and Switzerland to retain platforms for access to funding sources. The Retail and Commercial Banking line includes asset management and investor services activities. The investor services business is conducted by RBC Dexia Investor Services, a joint venture with Royal Bank of Canada, which offers its expertise in global custody, fund and pension administration and shareholder services to institutions around the world. In March 2009, the Company sold Experta Trust Services Jersey Ltd.“

I guess it is no surprise that the companies I have never heard, for the most part, are non-U.S. Based, but am I living in the dark here? Have you Ever heard of these companies?



  1. Of those companies you mentioned, I have definitely heard of McKesson. That jumps out at me as an instantly recognizable name, and I have had some high level familiarity with what they do.

    I have heard of BNP Paribas – though I should say that I have heard of BNP, anyway. Maybe the “Paribas” part became a part of the name recently? I don’t know. Anyway, I have known of BNP as a major French financial institution, and that’s it.

    As far as the others go…..I have never heard of these companies. Sinopec? State Grid? I guess it makes sense that Chinese companies would have a place in this type of list, but I can’t imagine too many people in the general public even having the slightest clue of what most of these companies do.

    Of course, there are probably some people that are living under a rock and don’t know who BP is either! It’s easy to overestimate common sense:)

  2. I’ve heard of all but Dexia. Anyone who buys international index will see most of these companies in the holdings.

  3. Allow me to share in your ignorance. I have not heard of a single company you listed outside of the top five. I think it just shows how fast Asia is growing and how it is so important to look at other parts of the world when we are investing.

    The other interesting note is how many energy companies there were on the list. It just shows how profitable that industry can be.

    Thanks for making me aware of these companies, I’ll have to pay more attention from now on.

  4. Cool, I’ve only heard of Sinopec, but haven’t heard of the other ones.

    When I saw BNP Paribas, for some reason I think of Brazil’s petrobras! =)

  5. I had heard of some of those companies, like NTT and McKesson, but wow,.. HOLY ASIA, Batman! The growth over there is unbelievable!

  6. I had hardly heard of any of these outside of the top ten to be honest…

    It makes me feel a little less bad that others in the comments hadn’t either though lol!

  7. There are several of those I’m not familiar with. Probably about half of those actually.

    I was planning on eventually doing a dividend stock analysis of Total, but there are several other oil companies I’d like to do first, so I might not get around to it for a long time.


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