For over 16 years African Business has been running an annual ranking of Africa’s 250 Top Companies, taking the top listed companies from national and regional stock exchanges across Africa. In this article we focus on the top 20 companies from West Africa in 2022.
The IMF has revised its most recent economic outlook forecast (April 2022) upwards for Nigeria, with growth now forecast at 3.4% for 2022 and 3.1% for 2023. Some members of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) are steady African growth stars, including Côte d’Ivoire (predicted to grow at 6.5% in 2022, 6% in 2023 and above 6% a year until 2027) and Senegal (forecast to grow at 5% this year, 9.2% in 2023 and 10% in 2024).
Nigerian Stock Exchange rises
The prospects are reflected in growing share prices on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NGX) – the main board index was up nearly 20% – and the Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières (BRVM), whose main index rose nearly 55%. The BRVM is headquartered in Abidjan but covers the eight members of the UEMOA. The share of West African companies in our listing rose – there are now 31 companies in the Top 250, up three compared to 2021, with 8.6% of the total market capitalisation (up from 7.7% last year).
The NGX has 20 listed firms in the top ranking, up from 19 in 2021, although it is still only the third largest exchange in terms of market capitalisation ($50.6bn) on the list. Top-ranked Dangote Cement is #15 on the list, up from #20 last year, after market capitalisation rose from $8.9bn in 2021 to $11.2bn. Next comes MTN Nigeria, up from #23 to #18 this year, with market value up 31% to $10.5bn. Its fellow telcom Airtel Africa has dropped back from #16 to #25.
Nigeria’s BUA Foods is the highest new entry at #50 with market capitalisation of $2.6bn after it consolidated its five business units and then listed 18bn shares by introduction on the NGX in December 2021. The shares started the year at N40 ($0.10) each and climbed to N66 by 12 January – briefly surpassing Nestlé Nigeria (#56 with market capitalisation of $2.7bn) as Nigeria’s most valuable consumer goods and food company – before sliding back to N59.50 each.
Other new entries on the list which are traded on the NGX are Guinness Nigeria (#210 with market capitalisation of $375m after its share price more than doubled over 12 months), Okomu Oil Palm Co (an owner of palm oil and rubber plantations in Africa and Indonesia, which reached #219 with market capitalisation of $343m) and Presco (#231 with market value of $320m, another producer of palm oil including refined products whose share price rose from N69 to N133 over the period).
BRVM companies that have joined the ranking are Société de Limonaderies et Brasseries d’Afrique (SOLIBRA), part of France’s BGI Group (Brasseries et Glacières Internationals) owned by Castel. Its ranking is #189 and its market capitalisation is $458m after the share price climbed from CFA56,000 ($92) to CFA155,000. Other new entries are Société Ivoirienne de Banque (#213, valued at $370m) and CFAO Motors Côte d’Ivoire (#217 with market capitalisation of 354m).
© Data provided by Emerging Markets Investment Management Limited and also in-house research. Data as at 31/03/2021. Data relates to listed companies only. Dual listings on African exchanges were excluded. For accuracy, Tullow Oil’s valuation is based on its London valuation rather than that in Ghana.