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Citigroup slumps as HSBC becomes world’s largest company: Shell number 6 in Forbes rankings

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Daily Telegraph: Citigroup slumps as HSBC becomes world’s largest company

By David Litterick
Last Updated: 1:29am BST 05/04/2008

HSBC has supplanted Citigroup as the world’s largest company, according to Forbes magazine.

The British bank has grabbed the coveted top spot in the magazine’s list of the biggest 2,000 companies and joins three other UK companies in the top 10.
Citi, which has dominated the list since its inception in 2004, has been laid low by the credit crunch and has slumped to a lowly 24th in the league table.

However, the top places are still dominated by financial services groups and oil companies. After HSBC, the other British companies in the top 10 are BP, its Anglo-Dutch rival Royal Dutch Shell, and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Forbes measures each company according to sales, profits, assets and market capitalisation, then draws up a composite measure on which to base its rankings. Although HSBC does not come top in any of the four individual categories, it is the largest company overall.

In total, the global 2,000 companies now account for $30,000bn (£15,000bn) in revenues, $2,400bn in profits, $119,000bn in assets and $39,000bn in market value. Globally, 72m people work for these companies.

Forbes said the list was still dominated by the US, but with 61 fewer entries than last year and 153 fewer than in 2004, as many US companies failed to keep pace with global competitors. In contrast, China, India and Brazil are rapidly adding companies to the list.

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