Familiar names make up the 10 most valuable companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), including British American Tobacco, Glencore, Prosus, Richemont, Naspers, and Anglo American.
Many have extensive operations in South Africa, while others, such as BHP Billiton, have no operations in the country.
The top six most valuable companies are all headquartered outside South Africa and are primarily listed on foreign stock exchanges with only secondary listings on the JSE.
This benefits South African investors as they can have exposure to global companies without investing outside the country and in another currency.
These companies dominate the local exchange regarding capitalisation and revenue, leading to the local index’s performance not being closely tied to South Africa’s economic performance.
Here is a look at the most valuable companies on the JSE.
Melbourne-based BHP Billiton is one of the largest diversified miners in the world, with over 90 mines worldwide, over 80,000 employees, and a revenue of $65 billion in 2022.
The miner focuses on copper, nickel, potash, iron, and coal, operating mainly in Australia, Chile, the United States, Canada, and Peru.
Its only African operation is a petroleum refinery in Algeria.
BHP has a primary listing on the Australian Stock Exchange and a secondary listing on the JSE.
In 2015, the company spun-off South32, which is also listed on the JSE with a market cap of R234 billion.
None of BHP’s revenue comes from operating in South Africa – a negligible amount is derived from its refinery in Algeria.
The Amsterdam-based technology investor has significant stakes in leading consumer internet companies, including Tencent, Delivery Hero, Auto Trader, Luno, and Byju’s.
Prosus has a primary listing on the Euronext Amsterdam Exchange and a secondary listing on the JSE.
The company has a complex holding structure whereby Naspers owns it, while it also has a significant holding in Naspers.
Prosus is chaired by South African billionaire Koos Bekker, who is known for his role in creating MultiChoice, investing in Tencent through Naspers, and being a founding director of MTN.
Despite its South African leadership and origins, Prosus is based outside the country and derives nearly all its revenue outside Africa.
Prosus had revenue of $6.9 billion in 2022, with $2.1 billion coming from Eastern Europe, $1.8 billion from Latin America, and $900 million from Western and Central Europe.
Africa, classified under “other”, only brought in $66 million in revenue for the company.
AB InBev is based in Leuven, Belgium and is the largest beer producer in the world. It produced 517.99 million hectolitres of beer in 2022 from its 175 breweries.
AB InBev purchased SABMiller for $107 billion in 2016, uniting the world’s two largest brewers to form the largest beer company. Combined, they control roughly half of the entire industry’s profit.
SAB’s headquarters remain in South Africa at their office in Bryanston, Johannesburg.
The company maintains significant operations in South Africa, with SAB employing 5,657 people in South Africa. The value chain is estimated to support over 140,000 jobs among its 3,739 suppliers and 1,277 farmers in South Africa.
From farm to bottle, SAB beers are 97% locally sourced.
Its African operations produced over 90 million hectolitres of beer in 2022, making up less than 15% of AB InBev’s revenue.
The majority of the company’s revenue comes from the Americas, which comprise 75% of all revenue.
Ab InBev has a primary listing on the Euronext Amsterdam Exchange and a secondary listing on the JSE and the Mexican Stock Exchange.
British American Tobacco (BAT)
Founded in 1902, BAT is headquartered in London and produces over 600 billion cigarettes annually.
The company is moving away from traditional cigarettes and into e-cigarettes and other tobacco-heating products to reduce the negative health impact of its business.
BAT collected £25.4 billion in revenue in 2022 and has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange with a secondary listing on the JSE.
South Africa remains a “top market” for BAT but is not considered on par with its major markets of Europe, the United States, Canada, and Japan.
BAT has a manufacturing facility in Heidelberg which is their eighth largest globally and was purchased as part of the acquisition of the Rembrandt Group’s cigarette business.
Glencore is one of the largest diversified natural resource companies, producing over 60 commodities and trading in over 90. It has 140,000 employees in 35 countries.
Headquartered in Baar, Switzerland, Glencore is led by a South African CEO, Gary Nagle, who succeeded another South African, Ivan Glassenberg.
The company has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and a secondary listing on the JSE.
Glencore owns Astron Energy in South Africa and runs an oil refinery in Cape Town and all Caltex/Astron forecourts in Africa.
The company also has numerous smelters, chrome mines, and coal mines in the country.
Glencore collected revenue of $256 billion in 2022 and returned over $7 billion to shareholders.
The vast majority of its revenue, $100 billion, comes from Asia, $80 billion comes from Europe, $44 billion from the Americas, and only $13 billion from Africa.
Ten most valuable companies on the JSE
|British American Tobacco||R1,592,000,000,000|