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BT 500: The champion companies of the bourses

BT 500: The champion companies of the bourses

The BT500, the definitive listing of India’s most valuable companies by average market capitalisation (during the period October 2021 to September 2022), is specially significant this year, coming as it does amid enormous uncertainty in the global economic environment, rising interest rates, steep inflation and recessionary headwinds being faced by some of the world’s biggest economies.

The BT500, the definitive listing of India’s most valuable companies by average market capitalisation (during the period October 2021 to September 2022), is specially significant this year. The BT500, the definitive listing of India’s most valuable companies by average market capitalisation (during the period October 2021 to September 2022), is specially significant this year.

The equity market, it is said, is the barometer of the economy. Not just that, the valuations it accords are indicators of how it views the performance of listed companies. A good example of this is the kind of hard knocks that some of India’s storied start-ups—hugely valued in the private market—got when they were listed on the bourses: think Paytm, Zomato and their ilk. The BT500, the definitive listing of India’s most valuable companies by average market capitalisation (during the period October 2021 to September 2022), is specially significant this year, coming as it does amid enormous uncertainty in the global economic environment, rising interest rates, steep inflation and recessionary headwinds being faced by some of the world’s biggest economies.

The top 5 companies in the BT500 rankings of 2022—Reliance Industries, Tata Consultancy Services, HDFC Bank, Infosys and Hindustan Unilever—remain the same as the last year. There’s a swap in positions between ICICI Bank, which moves up to 6th place from 7th, and housing finance major HDFC, which drops one place this year from 6th last year. The smart showing by the State Bank of India has seen it move up from No. 10 last year to No. 8 in 2022. Insurance behemoth Life Insurance Corporation, despite taking a hit in valuation post listing, makes its debut at No. 9, while Bharti Airtel enters the top 10 at No. 10 this year, up from No. 11 in 2021.

While Reliance, with its massive average market capitalisation of `17 lakh crore is at No. 1 once again, the story of this year, however, is that of the Adani Group, which is steamrolling its way into the market capitalisation sweepstakes across companies and sectors, and is a clear investor favourite. Consider the figures: the Adani listed pack of seven companies has together gained a staggering 124 per cent in average market cap, which has shot up to `13.72 lakh crore from `6.11 lakh crore in 2021. And Gautam Adani is far from done. As Anand Adhikari writes, Adani, now the world’s third-richest person, is an incurable optimist who has not followed any textbook business model. He is currently busy charting his own growth trajectory across businesses as diverse as ports, airports, roadways, power, green energy, cement and data centres, among quite a few others. Such is the force of his growth that most of his listed companies have registered major gains in ranks in this year’s BT500 list. Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance, once heavily dependent on its traditional oil and gas business, isn’t slowing down either. As Krishna Gopalan finds out, the BT500 topper is currently busy reorienting its portfolio, with its high-growth telecom and retail businesses now contributing nearly half of its Ebitda in Q2FY23. And there’s lots more to come, as Ambani rolls out big moves on green energy as well. As the BT500 list shows, Corporate India is quite capable of facing global headwinds. And the market recognises that.

Published on: Nov 25, 2022, 2:04 PM IST
Posted by: Arnav Das Sharma, Nov 25, 2022, 2:01 PM IST