With a market value of $264 billion (CHF258 billion), Nestlé has claimed second place in Europe behind Royal Dutch Shell ($276 billion) in global rankings published by consultancy EY on Friday.
However, that only put them in 17th and 18th place respectively, well below the global ranking leaders: the Silicon Valley tech giants Apple ($876 billion), Alphabet ($733 billion) and Microsoft ($661 billion).
EY reported that Chinese companies had muscled their way past European firms, with some entering the top ten for the first time. The internet services company Tencent Holdings ($484 billion) and e-commerce firm Alibaba Group ($444 billion) were ranked 7th and 8th, having doubled their market capitalisation in 2017.
Switzerland’s two big pharma companies, Roche and Novartis, were the only other Swiss firms to make it into EY’s top 100. Roche came 31st with a value of $213 billion while cross-town rival Novartis was six places lower with $195 billion.
The country’s biggest banks, UBS and Credit Suisse, only managed 153rd and 279th positions respectively.
Overall, the cumulative market value of the world’s 100 most expensive companies rose by almost 26% to $20.2 trillion over the past 12 months.
swissinfo.ch and agencies/db