Although the Middle East economy is very diverse, the region is known as one of the richest in the world due to its oil and gas deposits and, respectively, flourishing industry of exploration, extraction, and processing of petrochemical products. Oil market developments are the local main economic driver during recent years, and they contributed to the Middle East countries to turn from hydrocarbon raw materials exporters into powerful free-market economies.
The largest Middle East companies usually enter the list of the most prominent enterprises in the world, always becoming members of the Fortune Global 500 and Forbes 2000 lists. As this market is especially attractive for investors, we at Global Database decided to collect financial data on the biggest companies on the region and give you the possibility to learn more about this flourishing and perspective market.
*All figures are in USD. M: Millions of USD, B: Billions of USD, T: Trillions of USD
Saudi Basic Industries (further SABIC) is the most prominent Middle East public company by sales, located in Saudi Arabia. It operates in diverse industries, such as chemicals, petrochemicals, fertilizers, metals and others. The enterprise earned $45.10B in sales in 2018, while its profits for the same year were just $5.7B. SABIC has interests in 17 affiliated companies across the world.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (further Teva) is the biggest pharmaceutical company in the Middle East based on yearly sales, which were $18.80B in 2018. This Israeli American enterprise’s activity is focused mainly on generic drugs, which makes it the world’s largest generic drugs producer. Teva operates multiple facilities across four continents and employs over 42,500 people.
Saudi Electricity Company (further SEC) is a Saudi Arabian monopolist in terms of the electric power generation, transmission and distribution. It operates 45 power generation plants across the country, whose activity resulted in $17.10B in sales and $476M in profits in 2018. SEC is constantly developing, and one of the plans for the nearest future is to raise the power generation capacity with 30% by 2020.
Qatar National Bank (further QNB Group) is the largest commercial bank in Qatar and the Middle East by sales. Its numerous subsidiaries and associates with 4,300 branches across 31 countries generated sales of $16.10B and profits of $3.8B in the previous year. The company is 50% publicly owned. The rest belongs to the Qatar Investment Authority.
Emirates Telecommunication Group Company PJSC (further Etisalat) is an international telecommunications services provider from UAE and one of the internet hubs in the Middle East. Etisalat is serving customers across 15 countries on 3 continents, with roaming agreements, covering most of the world’s countries. In 2018, the company reported annual sales of $14.30B.
Saudi Telecom Company (further STC) is a telecommunications company from Saudi Arabia, providing landline, mobile and internet services across the home country, as well as in Malaysia and Indonesia. STC also operates a vast network of investment companies across the Gulf, African and Asian countries. All the activities above generated annual sales of $13.90B for the company in 2018.
Rabigh Refining & Petrochemical Company (further Petro Rabigh) is yet another petrochemicals company from the Middle East, which also produces and markets hydrocarbon. The company was listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange (TADAWUL) with a market value of $4.8B in 2018. Its annual sales for the same year were $10.90B. Petro Rabigh produces around 140M barrels of petroleum products yearly.
Ooredoo Q.P.S.C (further Ooredoo) is a Qatari telecommunications services provider, operating in 10 countries from 3 continents, and the first operator to launch commercial 5G services in its home country. Over 20,000 professionals working for the company are serving more than 115M customers across the world. Their work resulted in $8.20B in annual sales in 2018.
First Abu Dhabi Bank (further FAB) is the biggest bank in the UAE and the second biggest in the Middle East by annual sales, which totalled $8.10B in 2018. The bank was formed by the merger of the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (UAE bank with the most significant market cap) and the First Gulf Bank, so now FAB has a substantial market value of $47.8B.
Emaar Properties (further Emaar) is the Middle East’s largest real estate company by annual sales. It is famous for its large-scale projects, one of which is Burj Khalifa. The holding is present in 36 markets across the world, operating 60 companies within 6 business segments. Its activity resulted in annual sales of $7.10B in 2018 for Emaar.
Emirates NBD Bank PJSC (further Emirates NBD) is one of the biggest Middle East banking groups by assets ($136.2B in 2018) and by annual sales ($6.90B as of the same year). The group includes 10 companies that employ over 10,000 people, thus making Emirates NBD one of the biggest employers in the UAE.
The National Commercial Bank (further NCB) is the biggest financial institution in Saudi Arabia by total assets ($120.9B as of 2018), the second-biggest by market value ($47.3B as of 2018) and the 12th biggest in the Middle East by annual sales in 2018 - $6.30B. NCB is also one of the biggest Islamic banks in the world, planning to become a fully Islamic bank by 2020.
DP World is the largest maritime port operator in the Middle East by annual sales ($5.60B as of 2018). It is an international company, working in 40 countries all over the world and managing 78 marine and inland terminals, served by over 37,000 employees. This activity resulted in $1.3B in profits and $14.2B market cap in 2018.
Al Rajhi Bank is one of the world’s biggest Islamic banks by capital and the 14th largest company in the Middle East by annual sales - $4.80B as of 2018. The bank operates 6 offices in the Gulf region, subsidiaries in Malaysia and Syria, more than 600 branches and over 4,700 ATMs. Over 13,000 employees serve this vast network.
Mobile Telecommunications Company K.S.C.P. (further Zain) is a prominent telecommunications services provider from Kuwait that entered our top 15 largest Middle East companies by annual sales ($4.40B) in 2018. Zain provides mobile, fixed-line and internet services across 8 Middle East countries. Over 6,000 employees of the company are serving more than 50M active customers in the Gulf region.