4. Saudi Aramco
Saudi Aramco is the state-run petroleum company of Saudi Arabia. It developed out of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil, which began exploring the Arabian peninsula’s deserts in the search for oil during the early 1900s. Today it may be the highest-earning company in the world, but it’s a bit of an enigma. One reason is that before 2019 it never appeared in the Fortune 500 list of companies, even though its revenue for 2019 was $329,800,000,000. Before 2019, it never released its financial statements.
Aramco had been listed on the Arab stock exchange Tadawul, and by the time it released its financial statements in 2019, it claimed a net income of over $100 billion – over double that of Apple. It may be the most valuable company in the world, with a market value of nearly two trillion dollars.
Aramco funds the Saudi state, meaning that it relies almost exclusively on oil to fuel its economy. Expect to see turmoil in the region, particularly in Saudi Arabia and with its Aramco company, if demand for oil drops due to environmental concerns and the crises of 2020.