Top 10 Companies in Africa 2015

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1. Standard Bank Group (SBG)

The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited, with services in commercial & investment banking and investment management, is the largest bank in Africa by assets.


Its headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa. Apart from its presence in 20 countries in Africa, SBG has presence in 5 countries across 4 continents. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world’s biggest bank is a shareholder in Standard bank, synergising the group’s business Africa and Asia. The group discharges its functions through 3 business units:

• Personal & Business Banking: It provides banking and other financial services to retail customers and small to large businesses in 18 countries across Africa. The services extend to transactional banking, lending, savings as well as functions like insurance, fiduciary services that are handled by the other business units.

• Corporate and investment banking: SBG’s expertise in multiple sectors helps assist the corporate clients to negotiate the financial and regulatory environments in Africa for both cross-border and national deals.

• Wealth: The BU is handled in part by SBG’s subsidiary - Liberty Holdings Limited, which provides insurance, retirement solutions to corporate entities, property investment, management and development. The other services of the BU like providing trust & fiduciary services, offshore banking and private client services are handled by Standard Bank.

The bank was established as Standard Bank of South Africa in 1962, as a subsidiary of the British entity, Standard Bank. The parent bank gradually offloaded its shares and finally in 1987, complete ownership was transferred to South African investors. Since then, SBG has been aggressively acquiring banking entities to expand its reach across the globe, especially Africa.

It has set forth on its strategic move to consolidate its businesses by selling off stake in its UK & Brazil businesses. Going ahead, SBG is focussing on capital-light transactional banking, wealth management opportunities and careful cost management.

Revenues: $12.2 billion

Net Income: $1.7 billion

Assets: $164.5 billion

Ranking Methodology

The prospective list for the top 10 companies of Africa cut across multiple sectors – banking, media, retail, telecom and the like. Hence, it would be difficult to rank the companies this wide gamut of industries by one specific metric. To have a fair estimation, the following method has been adopted:

• The companies from African countries that are present in Forbes Global 2000 are listed. A total of 21 companies are present in the list from Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa

• The following values are considered:

• Revenues

• Net Income

• Assets

• A score is assigned for each value based on the rank of the company.

E.g.: The company with highest & lowest sales is given score of 21 and 1 respectively. Similarly for the other values.

• Weighted score for each company is determined, based on the following formula:

(Revenues score*0.3) + (Net Income score*0.3) + (Assets score*0.4)

Assets are given a higher weightage as it provides an avenue to increase net income by way of sale of assets.

• Final rank is decided on the basis of the weighted score with the company having highest & lowest score ranked as 1 & 21 respectively