Five Brazilian companies made it into the ranking of the world’s 500 biggest companies by the Financial Times. They have a combined market value of over US$ 130 billion.
The biggest, and best ranked, is Petrobras. At number 113, it has a reported market value of US$ 74 billion. Also on the list: mining giant Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) (number 155), beverage-maker Ambev (313), and the banks Itaú (324) and Bradesco (465).
According to the Financial Times, the world’s biggest companies are General Electric and Exxon Mobil.
Forbes magazine survey, last year, about the greatest companies in the world revealed that, of the selected 2,000 companies, 44 were Latin American. Brazil lead the group, with 19 companies, followed by Mexico, with 18, Chile, with 5 and Peru and Panama, with one each.
In the Forbes list of the best-placed Latin American companies, Brazil had four of the first five positions. In the first place was oil company Petrobras, and in second bank Bradesco. The third position was held by the Panamanian group Carnival, in the hotel and cruise ships sector. The Bank of Brazil was 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.
In 2004, 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 totaled US$ 17.3 billion, an increase in 5% over 2003.
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 in 2004, a 33% increase in relation to the profit in 2003.
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