2016 SYDNEY TOP COMPANIES REVEALED
Written on the 25 November 2016 by Nick Nichols
SYDNEY'S top companies are among Australia's biggest companies, and their stories may be familiar to many.
However, the past year has been particularly challenging for many amid a tepid global economic recovery that is fragile at best, and uncertain at the very least, due to the recent US presidential election.
The striking feature of this inaugural Sydney Top Companies list, compiled by Business News Australia, is the weight of the combined market capitalisation of the 50 companies included.
The top 10 alone are worth a combined $400 billion, or more than a quarter of the total market capitalisation of companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.
Many are household names, part of daily life, while others fly under the radar despite establishing a deep global presence.
It's no surprise that two of the big four banks assume the top positions with a market value that is streets ahead of the pack.
Banks and financial services companies account for 13 of the top 50, while property-related companies account for 10.
Sydney is a big money and property city, and there's nothing new there.
But how have they fared in one of the most tumultuous years since the GFC, a year marked by geo-political issues, concerns over China's economic fortunes and now a protectionist President-elect in Donald Trump?
Some companies are likely to benefit from the new US administration, including shopping centre owner Westfield Corporation (ASX:WFD) through its American development pipeline, and James Hardie Industries (ASX:JHX) through a housing boom in key markets.
On the home front, the major banks have been under pressure to become more transparent. The annual parliamentary grilling of bank CEOs kicked off in 2016 with some degree of criticism regarding its superficial nature.
However, the spotlight remains on bank bosses to stem the scandals that have plagued the sector in recent years.
In terms of share gains over 2016 among this list, there is little joy with many awash with red ink.
However, the standouts were both miners with Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) shares surging 200 per cent and Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) jumping 60 per cent.
Aristocrat Leisure (ASX:ALL) followed closely behind with shares up more than 50 per cent.
All market capitalisations were calculated in late November, 2016.
Author: Nick Nichols