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The 10 richest companies in the world

For a company to feature in the Global 500 top ten, it has to have high revenue. This becomes the first time Apple has appeared in this giant league. Companies in the oil and gas industry dominate this list. Volkswagen has suffered a blow from the diesel emission scandal. But it is still among the giants. In like manner, Walmart appears position one in the list. Now, here is the list of the largest companies in the word in 2020.

Walmart – $482.1 billion


Walmart is a company with its headquarters in the in Arkansas, US. Sam Walton founded the company in 1962. That is the year they opened their first store at Rogers, Arkansas. So, that over 50 years. This company tops the list of the largest companies in the world. The company has appeared among the Giants 11 times since 1995. Also, Walmart has an estimated 11,000 stores around the world. It has a presence in over 27 countries. Besides, they own Asda in the US. The company employs over 2.3 million associates in the world. Of those, about 1.5 million employees are in the US alone. Moreover, some of their store management teams start as hourly associates. Today, they earn between 50,000 and 170,000 dollars a year. Also, the chain store promoted over 200,000 employees and gave them higher pay.

The current CEO of Walmart is Doug McMillan. The head of the Council of Directors is Greg Penner. The company recorded revenue of $482.1 billion in 2015. Of the total revenue, $10.4 billion went to shareholders as dividends and share repurchases. Walmart has plans of investing over $2.3 billion in education and better wages. Moreover, it plans to equip employees with better training. That is a great opportunity for better employee performance and higher revenue.

State Grid Corporation of China – $330 billion


Fortune Global 500 ranks State Grid second among the biggest companies in 2020. This is a state-owned company founded in the year 2002. It has its headquarters in Xicheng District, Beijing, China. The president and CEO of State Grid is Liu Zhenya. It takes the title of being the largest electric utility in the world. The company deals with electric grid and electric power transmission. The company employs 1.9 million people. Additionally, it serves over 1.1 billion customers. The company supplies its products to China, Brazil, Australia, The Philippines and Italy.

The revenue of State Grid was approximately 330 billion US dollars in 2015. The company was part of the multi-phase smart grid. This is a China’s project that planned to take place between 2011 and 2015. The project would use Ultra-high Voltage (UVH) lines. Despite the company making all that progress, there were cases of corruption. There were graft allegations among some senior officials of the company. The company won the bid to operate TransCo for 25 years beating other bidders in 2007. It placed a bid of 3.95 billion, which was the highest. Moreover, company has plans of investing 11 billion US dollars in Sarawak, Malaysia. State Grid has assets in Australia including PowerLink and the Queensland network operator. Furthermore, in a South Australia company, ElectraNet, it has 41% stake among others.

China National Petroleum Corporation – $299 billion


China National Petroleum is a state-owned company in China. CNPC deals in the oil and gas industry. The company trades in petroleum, natural gas. Founded in 1988, it has its headquarters in Dongcheng District, Beijing, China. The current general manager, appointed in July 2020, is Zhang Jianhua. Besides, he filled the position that has been vacant for the last 16 months. There were power struggles in the company, and the company is now in the transition period. The company is trying to improve its operation by bringing on board private investors. CNPC is the parent to the PetroChina that was the fourth largest company of 2014. The two companies operate business overseas on the joint basis.

They recorded are revenue of about $299 in the last financial year. The company employs over 1.7 million people. In the year 2005, the company acquired Alberta-based Petrol Kazakhstan for US$4.18 billion. Moreover, the company owns shares in the Aktobe Oil Company of Kazakhstan. The company has oil reserves with the potential to give 3.7 billion barrels. Now, CNPC has 30 exploration and production projects in several countries. They include Canada, Thailand, Iran, and Venezuela. A subsidiary of the company runs the operation in exploration and extraction. Due to sanctions by the European nations on the oil reserves in Iran, CNPC took control. Shell oil and Repson, European energy companies, stopped their operations in Iran.

Sinopec Group – $294 billion


This is the three giant Chinese energy companies. It appeared first in the Top 500 Enterprises of China ranking in 2007. Established in the year 1998, Sinopec Group has its headquarters in Beijing, China. Sinopec is a state-owned company in the oil and gas industry. They produce petrochemicals, fuels, and lubricants other than exploration and production. So, their market for their products is China.

In 2015, it recorded revenue of 294 billion dollars in the last financial year. The current CEO is Wang Yupu who is the chair of the company is Su Shulin. The company has over 810,000 employees. The principal subsidiary is China Petroleum and Chemicals Corporation Limited (Sinopec Limited). This subsidiary has its shares in the Hong Kong, New York, London and Shanghai stock markets. As a result, there is a plausibility the value of state assets may increase. The company acquired Anadarko, an energy and petroleum company in 2015. In April 2020, the company transferred its stake to two overseas vehicle companies. Because of the consistent losses, they sold the shares after the company spent a lot on the assets. Together with CNPC, they have 120 billion dollars in acquisitions between 2009 and 2013.

Royal Dutch Shell – $272 billion


Royal Dutch Shell, popularly known as Shell, is a company in the oil and gas industry. It ranks number five of the largest companies of 2020 according to Fortune 500. The company was found in 1907 and has been in operation for the last 108 years. Royal Dutch Petroleum and Shell Transport and Trading got merged. The result was the Royal Dutch Shell. Shell has its headquarters in The Hague Netherlands. The current CEO of Shell is Ben Van Beurden. The company has about 90,000 employees. It has appeared in the Global 500 List 22 times. The company distributes its products worldwide. They explore petroleum, natural gas, and other petrochemicals.

Shell had revenue of just above 272 billion in the last financial year. Shell Shares have a primary listing are on the London stock exchange too. Also, the shares have a secondary listing on the EuroNext Amsterdam. Besides, they are on the New York Stock Exchange. The company acquired BG group in February at $53 billion. The plummeting crude oil prices caused this company to retrench a lot of its employees. Unfortunately, the company has its budget 35% below what it had together with BG Group in 2015. Drilling in Alaskan coast has almost stopped. The company has plans of exploring in Brazil.

Exxon Mobil – $246 billion


Exxon Mobil is the largest publicly traded oil and gas company in the world in market value. Sinopec and Shell are larger as revenue. Founded in 1999, Exxon Mobil has its headquarters in Irving, Texas, US. Rex W. The company came about after a merger of two companies, Exxon and Mobil. Tillerson is the current company’s CEO and Chairman. The company had revenue of 246 billion US dollars in the last financial year. The company has over 77000 employees. This is the 22nd time that the company appears in the Global 500 companies.

Exxon Mobil has several subsidiaries. They include Aera Energy, Exxo Australia, Exxon, Exxon Neftegas, Imperial Oil and Mobil. This company has survived the collapse in the crude oil prices. However, the company lost its AAA credit rating that it held for the last 67 years from Standards & Poor’s.  The company faces accusations of adverse impacts on the climate. It maintains that burning of fossil fuels is not the leading cause of global warming. Moreover, the reputation of the company is at threat. This is because of the spill that occurred in Alaska in 1989. The spill was one of the most dangerous that has profound impacts on the environment. The company has also suffered accusation against humans. State Attorneys in New York and California demand answers concerning misleading investors. They accuse Shell of failing to inform them of the risks associated with the business.

Volkswagen – $230 billion


This is a car manufacturing company with its headquarters in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, Germany. Established in 1837, it is in the automotive industry. They sell their vehicles worldwide. They make cars, trucks, and buses. Volkswagen Group, the parent to Volkswagen, is now the worlds’ largest automaker. The CEO of the company is Mathias Muller. Besides, t is one of biggest employers with over 600,000 workers. This is the 22nd year that the company has featured in the Global 500 List.

In 2015, there is a diesel scandal that broke out regarding the company. That may have a significant effect on the company in future. In fact, the company reported the greatest loss last following the scandal. The company lost $1.5 billion. As a result, the revenue dropped by 12% to 247 billion dollars. To repair its reputation, the company obliged to recall the half a million cars it had sold. The manufacturer allegedly sold the diesel cars by cheating the buyers about emissions. Also, in June 2020, Volkswagen agreed to pay $15.3 billion to the US regulators. It was to settle the scandal. The company had a revenue of just above $230 billion last financial.

Toyota Motor – $237 billion


Toyota is an automotive manufacturer with the headquarters in Toyota, Aichi, Japan. Kiichiro Toyoda founded the company in 1937. The company’s CEO is Akio Toyoda. They deal in motor vehicles and parts. The company employs over 348, 000 people. Toyota has featured on the Fortune 500 list for 22 times. The manufacturer was the largest manufacturer of automotive until 2012. The company was the first automobile company to produce over 10 million vehicles in 2012. But in the wake of the diesel scandal of Volkswagen, Toyota might reclaim that position. Toyota too has suffered recall problems from selling cars with faulty airbags.

This auto manufacturer made a loss of 4.5% in the last financial year and had revenue of $237 billion. Its competitor Tesla Motors has launched affordable electric cars. That could provide significant competition to the Prius, a brand manufactured by Toyota. The Prius Family has sold over 5.7 million units worldwide. But, the units of Prius sold have reduced in number. Nonetheless, the future of Toyota is bright as they are in the plans of producing driverless cars. It is one of the greatest companies to encourage adoption of hybrid electric vehicles. The electric vehicles may hit the road by 2020.

Apple Inc. – $233 billion


This an American technology multinational founded in 1976. The found were Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. The headquarters of Apple is Apple Campus, Cupertino, California, US. The company has about 478 stores in 17 countries worldwide. Timothy D. Cook is the CEO of the company while the chair is Arthur D. Levinson. Products by Apple include Mac, iOS, Watch OS, iPod, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. Apple Inc carries the tag of the world’s largest information technology company by revenue. It also the largest information technology company by assets. Also, it is the second largest manufacturer of mobile phone after Samsung. The company has over 110,000 employees.

Nonetheless, the future of Apple looks bleak. The growth of the company increased significantly in the last one decade. The sales of iPod and iPhones fuelled the growth. However, the sales from iPhone 6S and 6S plus did not beat their predecessors. The sales from iPad tablet also plummeted. The arrival of Apple watch also elicited different reactions and made few sales. Again, the performance of the company in Asia was dismal. The company has intentions to focus its attention on India. That is because the product is rather unpopular there. Furthermore, Apple plans to enter the automobile industry with an electric masterpiece. Maybe that will help the company.

BP plc – $226 billion


Finally, BP closes the list of Global 500 at position 10. This is one of the world giants in the oil and gas industry. It is a public multinational founded 2001. It has its headquarters in London, England, UK. The current CEO of the company is Robert W. Dudley. This is the 22nd year it has appeared on the Global 500 list. BP plc explores, produces and refines crude oil. Also, the company markets and distributes its products. Moreover, they have extended its operation to over 70 countries in the world. They have an interest in renewable energy i.e. biofuel and wind power. The total reserves of oil under BP have the potential of 17.18 billion barrels. BP has a listing on the London Stock Exchange. On the same vein, its BP has its shares on the New York Stock Exchange.

The explosion disaster of 2010 is still haunting the company. Again, it is far from reaching the end. It occurred at Deepwater Horizon oil platform. To resolve claims from the government, BP plc signed a $20.8 billion deal in 2015. That fatal disaster has cost the company $43.8 billion. Still, the company may need to settle other private claims. Not to mention the company may sink even further as the crude oil prices are still low.


That is the list of the companies that secured themselves a place in the top 10 of the Fortune 500. To come up with the list, Forbes considered the revenue of the every business. The list is dynamic. Besides the companies may get replaced by other rising giants that aim to feature on this list. Others may sink deeper due to the challenges they are going through. Volkswagen and BP are examples. Thus, keep an eye on the next list to see the best performers. In conclusion, apart from revenue, there are other many considerations that can be used to rank companies. This can include, the industry, the number of employees, and size. The ranking here is on revenue, while the companies belong to diverse sectors and industries