West Africa: banks lead Nigerian charge.
As last year, Nigerian firms comprise 44 out of the top 50 firms in the region by market capitalisation, while Ghanaian companies fill three spots, those from Cote d'Ivoire two and just Sonatel from Senegal.
Given the problems of other countries in the region, it is perhaps not surprising that no other nationalities are represented, but annual growth in Nigerian firms certainly is remarkable.
Continuing the trend from last year, Nigerian banks have further entrenched their domination in West Africa. The highly successful process of banking sector reform, merger and consolidation that was implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) produced a much stronger, leaner industry that propelled Nigerian financial institutions to the top of our table last year.
The leading banks have made the most of increased confidence in the Nigerian banking sector and have expanded much more rapidly over the past 12 months.
First Bank Nigeria remains the largest company in West Africa but it has had to fight off some very stiff competition to do so. Its market capitalisation in this year's table stands at $7.4bn, up from just $2.6bn last year.
Intercontinental Bank comes next with $6.2bn, a long way ahead of United Bank for Africa with $4.6bn, massive rises from the $1bn and $1.3bn respectively that they recorded last year.
The second biggest firm in West Africa last year, Nigerian Breweries, has grown almost 50% to $3bn over the past 12 months but has been swamped by the rising tide of Nigerian banks and so its ranking has now fallen to tenth. Out of the 28 West African companies with market capitalisation of more than $1bn, 18 are Nigerian banks.
There is obviously a huge amount of money washing around inside Nigeria because of the vast oil and gas revenues that have been accrued over many decades.
Considerable amounts of this money have been invested overseas in the past but the perceived investment opportunities that have been created by the banking reforms appear to have enticed much of this money to return home and into local banks.
However, little of the oil sector is controlled by companies registered in Nigeria, so African Petroleum is the highest ranked of the six listed oil and gas companies, at 21st. As a result, Nigerian banks now figure much more prominently in our table of the biggest companies in the whole of the African continent. While First Bank of Nigeria ranked just 46th in Africa last year, it has now jumped up to 20th position and a total of 16 Nigerian companies figure in the top 100, which is a more accurate reflection of the West African state's importance to the continent in terms of economic activity and population.
The overwhelming domination of Nigerian corporations in our table is also a reflection of market size. While Sonatel and Standard Chartered Bank Ghana are huge economic entities in their own respective markets, the limited size of those markets restricts the room for commercial growth. Nigeria is a massive market of more than 140m people, so companies in Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire and Senegal must look to cross-border expansion if they are to challenge the Nigerian giants in terms of size.
Regional integration would certainly provide the best option but there is little sign of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) instituting the kind of deep-seated economic reforms that would bring this about.
In addition, the cultural, legal, tax and regulatory differences between anglophone and francophone states make it difficult for companies with a francophone heritage to challenge Nigerian firms in their own backyard. However, the absence of any Nigerian telecoms companies in our survey means that there is still room for growth in that booming sector. In fact the only telecoms company in the top 50 is Senegal's Sonatel.
The firm is currently 43% owned by France Telecom and there appears to be a realistic possibility that it could be taken over outright by the French company. At the end of February, the government of Senegal announced that it could withdraw its capital from Sonatel, provoking some concern for its future among Senegalese trade unions.
While most telecoms companies have been developed on a national basis even where they are wholly or partly owned by major international operators, it will be interesting to see whether companies such as France Telecom or Vodacom seek to bring their various brands under a single regional umbrella in the near future.
If still registered in Africa, such a process could propel a number of telecoms companies into the West African top 50 companies.
WEST AFRICA Rank Overall Company_Name2 Country 1 24 First Bank Nigeria Nigeria 2 28 Intercontinental Bank Nigeria 3 34 United Bank for Africa Nigeria 4 36 Zenith Bank International Nigeria 5 40 Union Bank Nigeria Nigeria 6 41 Guaranty Trust Bank Nigeria 7 42 Sonatel Cote d'Ivoire 8 48 Oceanic Bank Nigeria 9 54 Dangote Sugar Refinery Nigeria 10 57 Nigerian Breweries Nigeria 11 62 Bank PHB Nigeria Nigeria 12 73 Diamond Bank Nigeria 13 81 IBTC-Chartered Bank Nigeria 14 86 West Africa Portland Cement Nigeria 15 97 First City Monument Bank Nigeria 16 102 Guinness Nigeria Nigeria 17 105 Afribank Nigeria Nigeria 18 108 Nestle Nigeria Nigeria 19 114 Ecobank Nigeria Nigeria 20 116 Access Bank Nigeria Nigeria 21 125 African Petroleum Nigeria 22 126 Wema Bank Nigeria 23 136 Benue Cement Company Nigeria 24 138 Fidelity Bank Nigeria Nigeria 25 151 Unity Bank Nigeria 26 152 Skye Bank Nigeria 27 154 Flour Mills Nigeria Nigeria 28 179 Oando Nigeria 29 183 Ashaka Cement Nigeria 30 192 PZ Industries Nigeria 31 193 Unilever Nigeria Nigeria 32 196 Societe de Limonaderies et Cote d'Ivoire Brasseries -- SOLIBRA 33 - First Inland Bank Nigeria 34 - Nigerian Bottling Company Nigeria 35 - Transnational Corporation Nigeria Nigeria 36 - UAC Nigeria Nigeria 37 - Springbank Nigeria 38 - Sterling Bank Limited Nigeria 39 - Total Nigeria Nigeria 40 - Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Ghana 41 - Union Homes Savings and Loans Nigeria 42 - Mobil Oil Nigeria Nigeria 43 - Chevron Oil Nigeria Nigeria 44 - Cadbury Nigeria Nigeria 45 - Continental Reinsurance Nigeria 46 - Ecobank Ghana Limited Ghana 47 - Conoil Plc Nigeria 48 - Societe Africaine de Plantations Cote d'Ivoire d'Heveas 49 - UACN Property Development Nigeria 50 - Julius Berger Nigeria Nigeria Rank Company_Name2 Industry 1 First Bank Nigeria Banks and Financial Services 2 Intercontinental Bank Banks and Financial Services 3 United Bank for Africa Banks and Financial Services 4 Zenith Bank International Banks and Financial Services 5 Union Bank Nigeria Banks and Financial Services 6 Guaranty Trust Bank Banks and Financial Services 7 Sonatel Telecom 8 Oceanic Bank Banks and Financial Services 9 Dangote Sugar Refinery Consumer Goods--Food and Beverages 10 Nigerian Breweries Consumer Goods--Food and Beverages 11 Bank PHB Nigeria Banks and Financial Services 12 Diamond Bank Banks and Financial Services 13 IBTC-Chartered Bank Banks and Financial Services 14 West Africa Portland Cement Construction and Materials 15 First City Monument Bank Banks and Financial Services 16 Guinness Nigeria Consumer Goods--Food and Beverages 17 Afribank Nigeria Banks and Financial Services 18 Nestle Nigeria Consumer Goods--Food and Beverages 19 Ecobank Nigeria Banks and Financial Services 20 Access Bank Nigeria Banks and Financial Services 21 African Petroleum Oil and Gas 22 Wema Bank Banks and Financial Services 23 Benue Cement Company Construction and Materials 24 Fidelity Bank Nigeria Banks and Financial Services 25 Unity Bank Banks and Financial Services 26 Skye Bank Banks and Financial Services 27 Flour Mills Nigeria Consumer Goods--Food and Beverages 28 Oando Oil and Gas 29 Ashaka Cement Construction and Materials 30 PZ Industries Diversified Conglomerates 31 Unilever Nigeria Consumer Goods--Food and Beverages 32 Societe de Limonaderies et Consumer Goods--Food and Brasseries -- SOLIBRA Beverages 33 First Inland Bank Banks and Financial Services 34 Nigerian Bottling Company Consumer Goods--Food and Beverages 35 Transnational Corporation Nigeria Diversified Conglomerates 36 UAC Nigeria Diversified Conglomerates 37 Springbank Banks and Financial Services 38 Sterling Bank Limited Banks and Financial Services 39 Total Nigeria Oil and Gas 40 Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Banks and Financial Services 41 Union Homes Savings and Loans Financial Services (Excluding Banks) 42 Mobil Oil Nigeria Oil and Gas 43 Chevron Oil Nigeria Oil and Gas 44 Cadbury Nigeria Consumer Goods--Food and Beverages 45 Continental Reinsurance Insurance 46 Ecobank Ghana Limited Banks and Financial Services 47 Conoil Plc Oil and Gas 48 Societe Africaine de Plantations Agriculture and raw materials d'Heveas 49 UACN Property Development Real Estate 50 Julius Berger Nigeria Construction and Materials Market Value Dollar Rank Company_Name2 ($m) 1 First Bank Nigeria 7,408 2 Intercontinental Bank 6,269 3 United Bank for Africa 4,656 4 Zenith Bank International 4,447 5 Union Bank Nigeria 4,010 6 Guaranty Trust Bank 3,996 7 Sonatel 3,927 8 Oceanic Bank 3,627 9 Dangote Sugar Refinery 3,245 10 Nigerian Breweries 3,087 11 Bank PHB Nigeria 2,915 12 Diamond Bank 2,118 13 IBTC-Chartered Bank 1,932 14 West Africa Portland Cement 1,869 15 First City Monument Bank 1,659 16 Guinness Nigeria 1,597 17 Afribank Nigeria 1,557 18 Nestle Nigeria 1,523 19 Ecobank Nigeria 1,434 20 Access Bank Nigeria 1,391 21 African Petroleum 1,285 22 Wema Bank 1,278 23 Benue Cement Company 1,183 24 Fidelity Bank Nigeria 1,163 25 Unity Bank 1,080 26 Skye Bank 1,074 27 Flour Mills Nigeria 1,069 28 Oando 770 29 Ashaka Cement 755 30 PZ Industries 701 31 Unilever Nigeria 689 32 Societe de Limonaderies et 682 Brasseries -- SOLIBRA 33 First Inland Bank 630 34 Nigerian Bottling Company 619 35 Transnational Corporation Nigeria 561 36 UAC Nigeria 541 37 Springbank 527 38 Sterling Bank Limited 523 39 Total Nigeria 509 40 Standard Chartered Bank Ghana 413 41 Union Homes Savings and Loans 377 42 Mobil Oil Nigeria 360 43 Chevron Oil Nigeria 339 44 Cadbury Nigeria 338 45 Continental Reinsurance 334 46 Ecobank Ghana Limited 324 47 Conoil Plc 289 48 Societe Africaine de Plantations 262 d'Heveas 49 UACN Property Development 214 50 Julius Berger Nigeria 212
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|Title Annotation:||Africa's Top 200 companies|
|Comment:||West Africa: banks lead Nigerian charge.(Africa's Top 200 companies)|
|Article Type:||Statistical table|
|Date:||Apr 1, 2008|
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