The 10 Largest Companies In South Africa
Although it has an ailing economy, South Africa remains one of the biggest economies by African standards and plays host…
Although it has an ailing economy, South Africa remains one of the biggest economies by African standards and plays host to many large companies worth billions of dollars. We want to examine the top ten South African companies by market capitalization*. They include:
Market capitalization: $31bn
Naspers is a multinational internet company based in Cape Town. The company’s defining moment was an early $32mn investment in Tencent, then a small Chinese technology startup. Tencent morphed into one of China’s biggest technology giants, and the value of Naspers’ early investment ballooned to over $100bn.
Naspers directed its Tencent riches into acquiring stakes in various Internet companies worldwide. It also owns Media24, Africa’s largest publishing company (Naspers was founded in 1915 as a publishing company).
Market capitalization: $20bn
FirstRand controls FirstRand Bank, South Africa’s second-largest bank by assets. It offers commercial and investment banking services and insurance, among other services. The company’s shares trade on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and the Namibian Stock Exchange.
3. Standard Bank Group
Market capitalization: $18bn
Standard Bank Group is Africa’s largest banking institution by assets. It’s based in Johannesburg, like its counterpart, FirstRand. The bank was formed in the 19th century by the prominent South African politician John Paterson. It was initially called the Standard Bank of British South Africa.
Standard Bank has extensive commercial and investment banking operations across the African continent, with a nearly $2bn profit on $9bn in revenue in its last fiscal year.
4. Gold Fields
Market capitalization: $13bn
Gold Fields is a gold mining firm, as the name suggests. It’s one of the top ten largest gold producers worldwide, founded in the 19th Century by prominent businessman Cecil Rhodes. Gold Fields’ shares trade on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
5. Capitec Bank
Market capitalization: $12bn
Capitec Bank is South Africa’s second-largest retail bank. It was founded in 2001 by South African billionaire Michiel Le Roux. Capitec focuses on the South African middle class, offering low costs and relatively high interest rates on savings. Its shares trade on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).
6. Vodacom Group Limited
Market capitalization: $10bn
Vodacom is a telecoms company serving over 100 million customers across Africa. It was formed as a joint venture between South African telecom giant Telkom and British telecom multinational Vodafone. Vodafone later acquired a majority stake in the venture.
Vodacom is the largest South African telecoms network by number of customers. It trails head-to-head with the MTN Group, the next company on this list.
7. MTN Group
Market capitalization: $9.6bn
MTN Group is Africa’s largest telecoms network by number of customers. It’s active in 20+ countries, with most of its revenue coming from South Africa and Nigeria. It reported a $1bn profit on $11bn in revenue in 2022. The company’s shares trade on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).
Market capitalization: $8.2bn
Bidcorp is a South African food services company. It distributes food products to restaurant chains, grocery chains, and supermarkets across the globe. Bidcorp has a thriving international business. However, its South African business has suffered lately due to regular electricity blackouts hindering its energy-intensive operations and lower consumer spending amid a faltering economy.
Bidcorp shares are listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).
9. Shoprite Holdings Ltd
Market capitalization: $7.9bn
Shoprite Holdings Ltd is Africa’s largest supermarket chain, with over 3,000 stores across the continent. It has three popular supermarket brands: Shoprite, Checkers, and Usave. The company has over 153,000 workers; it reported over $11bn in sales in its last fiscal year.
Market capitalization: $7.8bn
Sanlam is Africa’s largest insurance company. It offers a broad range of insurance and financial planning services across Africa. It is Africa’s biggest non-banking institution, with over $5bn in annual sales.
*Market capitalization figures as of January 2024