Global cash hoarding is over as companies open their wallets following the 2017 tax cut in the US. 

Author: Maria Obiols

After more than a decade of growth, capped by a record-setting 12 months in 2017, corporate cash stockpiling reversed trend last year. US companies, benefiting from the windfall of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), seemed to finally loosen their grip on their cash hoards. And while a variety of capital investment projects account for much of the drawdown globally, stock buybacks are once again setting records.

Cash in the hands of nonfinancial Moody’s-rated US companies declined by 15.2% to $1.7 trillion in 2018, according to a June report from Moody’s Investors Service. The drop for Global Finance magazine’s 25 richest companies globally was a less-pronounced 8.3%, to $1.1 trillion by the end of fiscal 2018 from $1.2 trillion the previous year; while the average cash holdings of the Top Global Cash 25 fell to $43.6 billion from $47.6 billion.

Accordingly, the cutoff for a spot in our Global Cash 25 has declined to $22.6 billion from last year’s $24.4 billion; while at the upper end, Microsoft, the richest of the rich, has maintained its stash at around $133.6 billion of cash on hand, for just a 0.6% annual increase.

US companies still dominate the ranking, with 12—down from 13 last year—in the Global Cash 25, seven of them in the top 10. China and Japan are tied for second place with three companies each if we include China Mobile, headquartered in mainland China but incorporated in Hong Kong.


Top 25 Global Public Companies By Cash On Balance Sheet

Rank
Company
Country
Industry
Current Year Cash
Prior Year Cash 
YoY Change (%) 
Capex
Total
Assets

1

MICROSOFT

US

Technology

133,650

132,881

0.6

-11,632

258,848

2

ALPHABET

US

Technology

109,140

101,871

7.1

-25,139

232,792

3

ORACLE

US

Technology

67,261

66,078

1.8

-1,736

137,851

4

APPLE

US

Telecoms

66,301

74,181

-10.6

-13,313

365,725

5

CHINA MOBILE

Hong Kong

Technology

62,108

71,615

-13.3

N/A

224,122

6

CHINA STATE CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING

China

Construction & civil engineering

47,002

42,663

10.2

N/A

271,683

7

CISCO SYSTEMS

Japan

Technology

46,548

70,492

-34.0

-834

108,784

8

TOYOTA MOTOR1

Japan

Automotive

45,396

42,987

5.6

N/A

473,757

9

AMAZON

US

Retail

41,250

30,986

-33.1

-13,427

162,648

10

FACEBOOK

US

Technology

41,114

41,711

-1.4

-13,915

97,334

11

GENERAL ELECTRIC

US

Technology

34,847

43,967

-20.7

-8,056

309,585

12

CENTRAL JAPAN RAILWAY

US

Pharmaceuticals

34,083

18,059

88.7

N/A

83,894

13

FORD MOTOR

US

Automotive

33,951

38,927

-12.8

-7,785

256,540

14

SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS

S. Korea

Telecoms

31,412

31,515

-0.3

N/A

304,165

15

GILEAD SCIENCES

US

Pharmaceuticals

30,089

25,510

17.9

-924

63,675

16

AMGEN

US

Pharmaceuticals

29,304

41,678

-29.7

-738

66,416

17

HON HAI PRECISION INDUSTRY

Taiwan

Consumer

28,394

21,760

30.5

N/A

110,024

18

DAIMLER

Germany

Automotive

28,291

25,359

11.6

N/A

322,454

19

CHINA PETROLEUM & CHEMICAL

China

Oil & Gas

28,126

33,202

-15.3

N/A

232,352

20

TOTAL

France

Oil & Gas

27,907

33,185

-15.9

N/A

256,762

21

GENERAL MOTORS

Japan

Consumer Electronics

26,810

23,825

12.5

-25,497

227,339

22

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL

UK

Oil & Gas

26,741

20,312

31.7

N/A

399,194

23

SONY1

Japan

Consumer Electronics

26,019

17,953

44.9

N/A

179,542

24

BP

UK

Oil & Gas

22,690

25,711

-11.7

N/A

282,176

25

TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR

Taiwan

Electronics

22,620

21,735

4.1

N/A

68,009

Last available year: 2018, except (1) 2017. Data valid as of June 11, 2019.  Data provided by Orbis - Bureau van Dijk, a Moody’s Analytics company.    All figures in USD millions.

Big Tech's Big Cash Piles

Tech giants continue to dominate the top positions in our ranking, but they too have significantly slowed their pace of cash accumulation. The TCJA has freed a huge amount of cash that companies were keeping overseas; although the biggest hoarders face a hefty bill for their foreign cash, which is deemed repatriated regardless of whether it actually moves to the US. The reduced corporate tax rate has left another good chunk of money in companies’ hands; the biggest hoarders have accordingly started to dole out their excess cash.

While Microsoft increased its cash hoard slightly, it increased its capital expenditures (capex) by 43% to $11.6 billion. The software giant’s stock buybacks have been modest by the standards of the industry; with up to $40 billion authorized for buybacks, it has repurchased only some $14.4 billion of shares in two years.

Google’s parent, Alphabet, again takes second place after growing its cash stash by more than 7% to $109.1 billion (despite doubling capex to more than $25 billion); although that’s slower growth than in 2017.

After spending $29 billion in stock repurchases, Oracle rises from sixth to third place. Despite reducing its capex by 14%, it showed only a modest 1.8% increase in its cash pile in 2018. Apple, the buyback king with $73 billion in repurchases last year, takes fourth place in the Global Cash 25—losing one position after reducing its cash balance by $7.9 billion, or more than 10%—while increasing capex by an unexceptional 7%.

 At another tech giant, Cisco Systems, the cash balance dropped by 34%, or almost $24 billion, the biggest cut of all among the Global Cash 25. That drops Cisco from fifth to seventh place, despite a 13% decline in capex. The cash drop was due to a substantial increase in share repurchases as well as the repayment of up to $12.4 billion of debt.

Japanese Shore Up Reserves

Although not the most cash-rich, the most active cash hoarders this year in absolute terms have been Central Japan Railway, which added $16 billion; Amazon, $10 billion; and Sony, $8 billion. Central Japan Railway (JR Tōkai) posted an 89% increase in cash to $34 billion, as it doubled its reserves to back construction of the Chuo Shinkansen maglev line.

Amazon, a strong cash-generating business, made no buybacks for the first time in seven years. It is reinvesting most of its foreign earnings, so even without other offsets its tax bill attributable to repatriation has been small. This has allowed it to amass an additional 33% of cash, raising its stash to $41.2 billion.

Thanks to improved profitability in its electronics division, and after two years of record operating profits, Sony added $8 billion to its cash pile: a 45% increase. But it might be on its way to increased spending in 2019; late last year, Sony closed on its $2.3 billion acquisition of EMI Music and is assuming EMI’s $1.3 billion debt. Sony also assigned another $2.7 billion to its stock repurchase program.

Trump Tax Cuts Rewrite Rules in the US

Enactment of the TCJA in the US at the end of 2017 drove the major shifts in cash holdings this year, completely changing the cash management playbook at American corporations and breaking their global cash-hoarding streak. Beyond slashing the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% and offering a one-time tax holiday for repatriation of offshore earnings, it reduces incentives for corporate inversions by moving the US to an almost territorial system by which foreign earnings will mostly be free of taxation by Washington.

Proponents project the new tax rules to shower $1.35 trillion in savings on US corporations over the next decade.

How much in tax savings the TCJA will actually add to American corporate cash balances is hard to establish; but according to the Federal Reserve’s Financial Accounts of the United States for 2018, total taxes on nonfinancial corporations were cut by almost a third. The savings would have been even greater were it not for the extraordinary payments corporations made for their foreign earnings. Yet, corporate after-tax profits grew more than twice as fast as before-tax profits (16.2% versus 7.8%), and both grew much more rapidly than national income (4.7%).

President Trump stated in August 2018 that he expected $4 trillion of offshore assets to return to the US. A more cautious valuation by Invesco of US unremitted foreign earnings brings the funds available for repatriation to a far more modest $1.5 trillion, while a Fed paper from last September estimates them at around $1 trillion. The $776.5 billion that had actually been repatriated as of late June is still far from this figure, although about five times the $155 billion corporates brought home in 2017: still a lot of cash to burn.

A Little Something for Staff

A few companies made good on their promise to pass on some of the windfall to workers: Apple hired 6,000 more people, Walmart raised its starting salary to $11 an hour and Bank of America gave bonuses to employees. But there were trade-offs. AT&T distributed bonuses and made extraordinary contributions to employees’ and retirees’ benefits funds, but it also cut more than 10,000 jobs. Verizon made a grant of shares to employees, but it cut more than 3,000 jobs.

In the aggregate, wages received a mere sprinkling from the tax break. Employee compensation, as reflected in US Financial Accounts, grew at a slower pace than national income—despite what many consider to be an economy technically at full employment.

Many companies announced they would take advantage of the extra cash to repay debt. Apple, for example, announced it would become net cash neutral. But an analysis by a Federal Reserve research team last fall of the top 15 holders of offshore cash found that the companies’ aggregate debt had declined by only about $15 billion, or 2% of their total debt. Although this analysis is limited to the first quarter of the year, it suggests that for those who had the money to do so, credit was still cheap enough that they had no reason to use their excess cash to pay down debt.

Buybacks Set a Record

Most of the extra cash went back to investors, partly through dividends but mostly through share repurchases. Buybacks shattered all records. TrimTabs raised its figure for 2018 repurchases by US companies to a staggering $1 trillion. Companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 bought back a total of $806 billion of their shares last year.

The cash-richest led the buyback frenzy. In May 2018, Apple, which had already been repurchasing at a furious pace, announced a $100 billion buyback program. The actual repurchases by the end of the fiscal year came to $73 billion, cutting by 6.5% Apple’s shares outstanding. Oracle was a distant second, with $29 billion of buybacks that reduced its shares by 12%.

All told, last year’s $800 billion in buybacks outstripped capital expenditures, at slightly more than $700 billion, for the first time since 2008, according to Citigroup; and the TCJA appears not to have had a significant impact on investment in the short term. On one hand, repatriation is an accounting operation that does not necessarily mean the money actually moves to the US; it could very well be sitting in an account in the Bahamas or be reinvested abroad.

On the other hand, companies that have been repatriating the bulk of their overseas earnings have not suffered from any restrictions or excessive costs to access credit in recent years, so it was not reasonable to expect any significant boost to investment from the tax holiday.

According to data from the Fed, real private nonresidential investment increased faster than the previous year but stayed close to its previous trend. Meanwhile, capex actually slowed in 2018. The TCJA’s longer-term effect on investment, if any, will come from the reduction in corporate taxes and the elimination of disincentives to the repatriation of foreign earnings.

North America

There are no Canadian companies on our list of the most cash-rich in North America: no surprise, since technology giants once more occupy the entire top five, although with some shifts in position.

Oracle climbs from fifth to third, thanks to Apple and Cisco reducing their cash positions. Amazon takes the biggest step forward, moving to sixth place from 12th, aided by its zero-buybacks policy and a cheap bill for repatriations. Cisco lost the biggest chunk of cash, with a 34% reduction of its balance after substantial buybacks and repayment of part of its debt.

The pharmaceuticals maker Amgen cut back almost 30% of its cash pile, losing two positions in the ranking. Amgen repurchased $17.9 billion worth of its own stock last year, almost six times the amount it bought back in 2017. The new Trump tax policies also burdened the company with a tax bill of more than $6 billion.


Top Regional Public Companies By Cash On Balance Sheet — North America

Rank
Company
Country
Industry
Current Year Cash
 
Prior Year Cash 
YoY Change (%)
Capex
Total
Assets

1

MICROSOFT

US

Technology

132,901

113,239

19,662

-8,129

250,312

2

ALPHABET

US

Technology

101,871

86,333

15,538

-13,184

197,295

3

ORACLE

US

Technology

74,181

67,155

7,026

-12,795

375,319

4

APPLE

US

Technology

70,492

65,756

16,524

-964

129,818

5

CISCO SYSTEMS

US

Technology

67,261

66,078

5,287

-1,736

137,264

6

AMAZON

US

Telecoms

50,498

5,788

2,985

-20,647

444,097

7

FACEBOOK

US

Industrial

41,114

41,711

-1.4

-13,915

97,334

8

GENERAL ELECTRIC

US

Technology

34,847

43,967

-20.7

-8,056

309,585

9

FORD MOTOR

US

Automotive

33,951

38,927

-12.8

-7,785

256,540

10

GILEAD SCIENCES

US

Pharmaceuticals

30,089

25,510

17.9

-924

63,675

11

AMGEN

US

Pharmaceuticals

29,304

41,678

-29.7

-738

66,416

12

GENERAL MOTORS

US

Automotive

26,810

23,825

12.5

-25,497

227,339

13

JOHNSON & JOHNSON

US

Health Care

19,687

18,296

7.6

-3,670

152,954

14

PFIZER

US

Pharmaceuticals

18,833

19,992

-5.8

-2,196

159,442

15

COCA-COLA

US

Beverages

15,964

20,675

-22.8

-1,347

83,216

Last available year: 2018, except (1) 2017. Data valid as of June 11, 2019.  Data provided by Orbis - Bureau van Dijk, a Moody’s Analytics company.    All figures in USD millions.

Latin America

The ranking of Latin America’s top cash hoarders is distorted somewhat by the presence of Chinese companies incorporated in the Cayman Islands. Tech takes over the first position this year, with Beijing-headquartered Baidu getting in ahead of Petrobras.

The state-owned Brazilian oil company shows the most significant cash reduction, down $9.4 billion from the previous year. Two more Chinese companies follow: travel services provider Ctrip in third and internet technology company NetEase in fourth place.

Suzano, the Brazilian paper and cellulose producer, climbed from nowhere to fifth position after its fusion with Fibria boosted its total assets 61% and multiplied its cash balance almost sevenfold.

With a 59% increase in its cash balance, Chinese smartphone market leader Xiaomi, which might be gearing up for expansion in Europe and the US, shows up in eighth place as the second newcomer to the list this year.


Top Regional Public Companies By Cash On Balance Sheet — Latin America

Rank
Company
Country
Industry
Current Year Cash
 
Prior Year Cash
YoY Change (%) 
Total
Assets

1

BAIDU

Cayman Islands

Technology

20,641

18,285

12.9

43,421

2

PETROBAS

Brazil

Oil & Gas

14,984

24,409

-38.6

222,103

3

CTRIP.COM

Cayman Islands

Travel Services

9,124

7,390

23.5

27,117

4

NETEASE

Cayman Islands

Travel Services

7,994

7,531

6.1

12,690

5

SUZANO

Brazil

Pulp & Paper

6,583

832

691.3

13,940

6

VALE

Brazil

Mining

5,785

4,328

33.7

88,202

7

JD.COM

Cayman Islands

Retail

5,769

3,039

58.8

21,192

8

XIAOMI

Cayman Islands

Consumer Electronics

4,827

3,039

58.8

21,192

9

FEMSA

Mexico

Beverages

4,729

5,034

-6.1

29,283

10

AMERICA MOVIL

Mexico

Telecoms

3,591

4,215

-14.8

72,612

Last available year: 2018, except (1) 2017. Data valid as of June 11, 2019.  Data provided by Orbis - Bureau van Dijk, a Moody’s Analytics company.    All figures in USD millions.

Western Europe

The top four spots on our list of the richest Western European companies remain in the same hands as last year, albeit with some reshuffling.

With four of the first five positions, the oil and gas industry dominates the top of the ranking; but after four years at the top, Total comes in second, giving up its position to Daimler.

Total pared back its cash reserves by 15.9% in 2018 after buying French electricity and gas provider Direct Energie for $1.7 billion and accelerating stock buybacks. Shell, with 32% more cash in its pile, comes in at third place; while BP, second last year, steps down to fourth position and Italy’s ENI completes the top five.

In the big surprise this year, BHP multiplied its cash balance by a factor of 17 and jumps directly to ninth place. After selling its US onshore shale oil and gas business for $10.8 billion, BHP enjoys a healthy balance sheet and plans to give most of its cash back to investors.


Top Regional Public Companies By Cash On Balance Sheet — Western Europe

Rank
Company
Country
Industry
Current Year Cash
 
Prior Year Cash
YoY Change (%) 
Total Assets

1

DAIMLER

Germany

Automotive

28,291

25,359

11.6

322,454

2

TOTAL

France

Oil & Gas

27,907

33,185

-15.9

256,762

3

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL

UK

Oil & Gas

26,741

20,312

31.7

399,194

4

BP

UK

Oil & Gas

22,690

25,711

31.7

399,194

5

ENI

Italy

Oil & Gas

19,909

16,041

24.1

135,537

6

RENAULT

France

Automotive

17,974

18,279

-1.7

131,670

7

PEUGEOT 

France

Automotive

17,810

14,599

22.0

70,935

8

VODAFONE GROUP1

UK

Telecoms

17,504

16,502

6.1

179,407

9

BHP GROUP

UK

Mining/Oil & Gas

15,871

882

1,699.4

111,993

10

EQUINOR

Norway

Oil & Gas

14,597

12,838

13.7

112,508

11

NOVARTIS

Switzerland

Pharmaceuticals

13,631

9,222

47.8

145,563

12

RIO TINTO

UK

Mining

13,499

11,605

16.3

90,949

13

AIRBUS

Netherlands

Aeronautics

13,219

16,362

19.2

131,902

14

CHRISTIAN DIOR

France

Fashion

12,842

12,353

4.0

88,475

15

SIEMENS

Germany

Industrial

12,810

9,888

29.6

160,808

Last available year: 2018, except (1) 2017. Data valid as of June 11, 2019.  Data provided by Orbis - Bureau van Dijk, a Moody’s Analytics company.    All figures in USD millions.

Central and Eastern Europe and Turkey

The Central and Eastern European cash rankings are a Russian and Turkish affair, with the Russian oil and gas sector taking five of 10 places, including the first four. State-owned companies also have a strong hold among the region’s cash-rich.

Little changed from the previous year in the Eastern European ranking. Nine of the top 10 were already there last year, and movement within the ranking was minor.

After a spectacular increase in its cash balance due to rising prices and a falling ruble, Rosneft takes over the first position; it plans to use some of its hoard to reduce debt. Gazprom, last year’s champion, takes second place.

With their positions unchanged, Lukoil is third, Surgutneftegas fourth and the Russian aeronautics company United Aircraft fifth. The only newcomer to the top 10, Turkish mobile phone operator Turkcell, replaces the Polish oil refiner and retailer PKN Orlen in last position.


Top Regional Public Companies By Cash On Balance Sheet — Central-Eastern Europe and Turkey

Rank
Company
Country
Industry
Current Year Cash
 
Prior Year Cash
YoY Change (%) 
Total Assets

1

ROSNEFT

Russia

Oil & Gas

15,100

8,628

75.0

189,476

2

GAZPROM

Russia

Oil & Gas

12,613

15,676

-19.5

299,558

3

LUKOIL

Russia

Oil & Gas

7,091

5,736

23.6

82,515

4

SURGUTNEFTEGAS

Russia

Oil & Gas

3,778

3,812

-0.9

73,928

5

UNITED AIRCRAFT

Russia

Aeronautics

2,848

2,130

33.7

16,221

6

TRANSNEFT

Russia

Oil & Gas

2,333

2,581

-9.6

45,915

7

INTER RAO UES

Russia

Energy

2,232

2,478

-9.9

10,488

8

ERDEMIR

Turkey

Steel

1,644

1,864

-11.8

7,935

9

TURKISH AIRLINES

Turkey

Transportation

1,634

1,889

-13.5

20,715

10

TURKCELL

Turkey

Telecoms

1,409

1,297

8.6

8,122

Last available year: 2018, except (1) 2017. Data valid as of June 11, 2019.  Data provided by Orbis - Bureau van Dijk, a Moody’s Analytics company.    All figures in USD millions.

Asia-Pacific

Despite a $9.5 billion reduction in its cash hoard, China Mobile stays at the top of our Asia-Pacific ranking. China State Construction Engineering and Toyota Motor switch places, coming in second and third, respectively. Central Japan Railway keeps fourth position, and Samsung climbs one spot to close the top five.

The biggest cash boost was posted by Central Japan Railway—rising 89% to more than $34 billion—which increased mandatory reserves to back the construction of a new magnetic levitation line. Sony follows, gearing up its cash pile with an additional $8 billion.


Top Regional Public Companies By Cash On Balance Sheet — Asia-Pacific

Rank
Company
Country
Industry
Current Year Cash=
 
Prior Year Cash
YoY Change (%)
Total Assets

1

CHINA MOBILE

Hong Kong

Telecoms

62,108

71,615

-13.3

224,122

2

CHINA STATE CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING CORP

China

Automotive

47,002

42,663

1.2

271,683

3

TOYOTA MOTOR

Japan

Civil Engineering

45,396

42,987

5.6

473,757

4

CENTRAL JAPAN RAILWAY COMPANY

Japan

Transport

34,083

18,059

88.7

83,894

5

SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS 

S. Korea

Consumer Electronics

31,412

31,515

-0.3

304,165

6

HON HAI PRECISION INDUSTRY

Taiwan

Consumer Electronics

28,394

21,760

30.5

110,024

7

CHINA PETROLEUM & CHEMICAL

China

Technology

28,126

33,202

-15.3

232,352

8

SONY (1)

Japan

Consumer Electronics

26,019

17,953

44.9

179,542

9

TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR

Taiwan

Electronics

22,620

21,735

4.1

68,009

10

CHINA RAILWAY CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION

China

Construction & Civil Engineering

21,472

21,472

-1.0

133,908

Last available year: 2018, except (1) 2017. Data valid as of June 11, 2019.  Data provided by Orbis - Bureau van Dijk, a Moody’s Analytics company.    All figures in USD millions.

Middle East

Despite a decline of $4.4 billion, state-owned Saudi Basic Industries retains its top position. Qatari telecommunications provider Ooredoo climbs one spot to third.

In fourth position is newcomer Industries Qatar. The petrochemicals and steel conglomerate reported a 41% increase in revenue and a 52% increase in profits in 2018, while strong cash flow and reduced capex raised its liquid assets to a record figure. Industries Qatar is planning to spend part of its cash on projects to increase production in its petrochemical and fertilizer segments.


Top Regional Public Companies By Cash On Balance Sheet — Middle East

Rank
Company
Country
Industry
Current Year Cash
 
Prior Year Cash
YoY Change (%) 
Total Assets

1

SAUDI BASIC INDUSTRIES

Saudi Arabia

Chemicals

11,358

15,744

-27.9

85,256

2

EMIRATES TELECOMMUNICATION (ETISALAT) 

UAE

Telecoms

7,723

7,386

4.6

34,103

3

OOREDOO

Qatar

Telecoms

4,806

5,071

-5.2

23,434

4

INDUSTRIES QATAR

Qatar

Chemicals

3,009

206

1,358.0

10,184

5

EMAAR PROPERTIES

UAE

Real Estate

2,585

5,746

-55.0

30,485

6

SAUDI TELECOM

Saudi Arabia

Telecoms

2,174

685

217.6

29,853

7

TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL

Israel

Pharmaceuticals

1,784

977

82.6

60,683

8

CHECK POINT SOFTWARE

Israel

Technology

1,752

1,411

24.2

5,828

9

DAMAC PROPERTIES

UAE

Real Estate

1,681

2,031

17.2

6,855

10

ABU DHABI NATIONAL OIL COMPANY DISTRIBUTION

UAE

Oil & Gas

1,490

758

96.5

4,232

Last available year: 2018, except (1) 2017. Data valid as of June 11, 2019.  Data provided by Orbis - Bureau van Dijk, a Moody’s Analytics company.    All figures in USD millions.

Africa

South Africa sweeps the board in our African ranking, only two Nigerian companies challenging its command. The top five, all South African, remain almost unchanged.

Media conglomerate Naspers stays in first, widening its lead by almost tripling its cash. Its liquid assets reached $11.4 billion thanks to the sale of a 2% interest in Tencent for $9.8 billion. Telecommunications provider MTN and chemicals and energy producer Sasol switched positions to take the second and third spots, respectively, while the logistics and shipping company Grindrod takes the fourth and Aspen Pharmacare the fifth positions.

In sum, the growth of cash is slowing among most large corporates worldwide, and capex spending is dropping—particularly in North America. At the same time, the global economic slowdown, combined with a drop in interest rates worldwide, will offer a new challlenge to corporates worldwide. Will they continue to hoard cash for rainy days, holding off on expansion plans? The next year or so will prove whether 2019 represents an exception or whether these trends will gain momentum, becoming the new normal. 


Top Regional Public Companies By Cash On Balance Sheet — Africa

Rank
Company
Country
Industry
Current Year Cash
 
Prior Year Cash
YoY Change (%) 
Total Assets

1

NASPERS1

South Africa

Media & Communications

11,369

4,007

183.7

35,451

2

MTN GROUP1

South Africa

Telecoms

1,941

2,649

-26.7

19,653

3

SASOL

South Africa

Chemicals

1,250

2,254

-44.6

31,895

4

GRINDROD1

South Africa

Freight

870

824

5.6

2,833

5

ASPEN PHARMACARE HOLDINGS

South Africa

Pharmaceuticals

811

819

-1.0

9,646

6

SHOPRITE HOLDINGS

South Africa

Retail

658

595

10.7

4,491

7

SEPLAT PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY

Nigeria

Oil & Gas

585

437

33.8

2,527

8

BARLOWORLD

South Africa

Automotive, Equipment & Logistics

558

298

87.0

3,473

9

DANGOTE CEMENT

Nigeria

Cement

544

550

1.2

5,519

10

EXARRO RESOURCES1

South Africa

Mining

536

380

41.1

5,071

Last available year: 2018, except (1) 2017. Data valid as of June 11, 2019.  Data provided by Orbis - Bureau van Dijk, a Moody’s Analytics company.    All figures in USD millions.

Methodology

The Global Finance Cash 25 ranks publicly listed companies by the cash, cash equivalents and short-term securities (those maturing between three months and a year) on their balance sheets. Data from more than 75,000 companies worldwide, excluding financial institutions and nonpublic companies, was supplied by Orbis – Bureau van Dijk. Subsidiaries are omitted as well; we eliminate any company more than 25% owned by another company.