Saudi Aramco becomes world’s most valuable firm as Apple’s shares fall

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Saudi Aramco, the oil and natural gas giant based in Saudi Arabia, has reportedly surpassed Apple as the most valuable firm in the world.

According to reports, rising oil prices helped push the Saudi oil giant's shares up high, while a tech sector sell-off harmed the iPhone maker.

As per FactSet, which converted the oil giant’s market cap to dollars, the company’s market valuation was a little under $2.43 trillion (£1.99 trillion) on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Apple is currently being valued at $2.37 trillion (£1.94 trillion).

Apple was the first business to reach a market capitalization of $3 trillion in January, but its stock has fallen over the past couple of months as investors have been leery of the high valuations seen throughout the tech industry and concerns that increasing inflation could hurt demand.

NBC stated that Apple dropped about 20% since it hit its top share price of $182.94 (£149.86) on January 4, and plunged further 5% this week to its lowest level since October 2021.

It is to be noted that Saudi Aramco and Apple are two entirely different firms. While Apple is a publicly listed firm, Saudi Aramco is 94% held by the Saudi government. In 2019, the oil and gas firm listed 1.5% of its shares on the stock market, in what was the world’s biggest initial public offering at the time.

Saudi Aramco's Riyadh-listed shares have surged 27% this year as oil prices have reached new highs.

Aramco had briefly held the top spot before. But with the coronavirus pandemic stimulating demand for technology services and products, Apple had climbed back to beat Aramco to the top in July 2020.

The new shake-up is a testament to the implications of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, rising inflation, and the ongoing Covid-19 lockdowns in China, which are all causing severe economic turmoil.

Source credit: https://news.sky.com/story/saudi-aramco-overtakes-apple-as-worlds-most-valuable-company-12611176