Giants     

A plant of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company ARAMCO. Photo: theacracy.com

By Isaac Cohen*

It used to be that producers of goods and energy dominated the upper ranks of capital markets. At the start of this year, the market supremacy of automobile companies, huge oil producers and some financial giants was challenged, when the recovery from the pandemic pushed upward the ranking of high-tech companies. In January, Apple approached the barrier of $3 trillion in market capitalization, followed by Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon and Meta, formerly Facebook.

But this supremacy of the high-tech companies was ephemeral because inflation, higher interest rates and the war in Eastern Europe have intensified market volatility and Apple is no longer the most valuable world company. As of last week, that peak belongs to the Saudi Arabian Oil Company ARAMCO, with a market capitalization of $2.38 trillion, while Apple stocks have fallen 20 percent throughout this year, with a market capitalization of $2.31 trillion.

Oil prices have remained above $100 per barrel, among other reasons because the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries plus Russia have increased monthly production of only 400,000 barrels per day. Therefore, the government of Saudi Arabia’s oil company announced on Sunday a record increase of 80 percent in its net income and for the first quarter of this year an increase in profit $39.5 billion.

*International analyst and consultant, former Director ECLAC Washington. Commentator on economic and financial issues for CNN en Español TV and radio, UNIVISION, TELEMUNDO and other media.

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