The last survey made by the Forbes magazine about the greatest companies in the world reveals that, of the selected 2,000 companies, 44 are Latin American. Brazil leads the group, with 19 companies, followed by Mexico, with 18, Chile, with 5 and Peru and Panama, with one each.
The leadership of all companies was given to the finance conglomerate Citigroup.
In the list of the best-placed Latin American companies, Brazil has four of the first five positions. In the first place is the oil company Petrobras, and in second is the bank Bradesco.
The third position is held by the Panamanian group Carnival, in the hotel and cruise ships sector. The Bank of Brazil is in fourth place and the mining company Vale do Rio Doce, in fifth.
However, in March, Vale do Rio Doce reached a market value of US$ 39.9 billion at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), making it the largest private company in Latin America.
The state owned Petrobras was created in October 1953 with the objective of beginning the activities in the petroleum sector in Brazil. The company acts in exploration, production, refining, trading and transporting of oil and oil products not only in the national market as abroad.
Last year, the consolidated net profit was of US$ 6.9 billion, the greatest result in the company’s history, which also had record values in 2004 in investments (US$ 8.4 billion) and net sales (US$ 41.6 billion). The gross profit in 2004 totalled US$ 17.3 billion, an increase in 5% over 2003.
Up until the end of 2005, an average production of 1.8 million barrels of oil per day is expected, a sufficient volume to meet internal demand, which would make the country self-sufficient in oil production, according to the president of the state owned company José Eduardo Dutra
The bank Bradesco was founded in March 1943, in the city of Marília, in the interior of the state of São Paulo in the Southeast region of Brazil. In the beginning, the bank held small savings accounts. Currently, among the main activities developed by are: commercial and investments banking, capitalization, consortiums, brokers and others.
The company had a net profit of US$ 1.8 billion last year, a 33% increase in relation to the profit in 2003.
ANBA – Brazil-Arab News Agency