Volatility caused by the Greek crisis has knocked two percent off the value of the world's top 100 companies, according to Ernst and Young. The UK audit firm's new study says German firms have suffered particularly.
The stock market value of the top 100 global firms shrank by a total of $300 billion (270 billion euros) in the past two weeks, the German arm of Ernst and Young announced on Friday in Stuttgart. That meant the total value of the top 100 dropped from $16.6 to $16.3 trillion.
The crisis seems to have hit European firms the hardest, with the five German companies in the top 100 - Bayer, Volkswagen, Daimler, Siemens and SAP - losing 4 percent of their market capitalization. The five firms lost a combined stock market value of $22 billion.
Apple still most valuable firm
Ernst and Young also named Apple as the most valuable company in the world once again. The US tech giant is currently worth $723 billion (652 billion euros), Ernst and Young said, more than the combined gross domestic product of Portugal, Finland and Greece.
The rest of the top three is also made up of American IT titans: Google currently has a stock market value of $361 billion, while Microsoft is hard on its heels at $357 billion. But that means Apple still is worth the same as its two biggest rivals combined.
Eight of the top ten most valuable companies in the world are based in the US, while the other two are Chinese, Ernst and Young said. The highest-ranked European company is the Swiss pharmaceutical multinational Novartis, in 11th place.
bk/uhe (Reuters, AFP)