Reliance Industries ousts IOC from top rank to become India’s largest company

Reliance Industries ended state-owned Indian Oil Corporation’s (IOC) 10-year reign as India’s largest company, and topped the Fortune India 500 list.

Mukesh Ambani-led conglomerate also became the first privately-held and the only other company to become India’s largest corporation apart from IOC for the first time in 10 years, Fortune India said.

Boosted by its consumer-facing businesses like organised retail and telecom, it acquired a revenue of ₹5.81 lakh crore in 2018-19.

State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) was ranked third, same as in 2018. It was followed by State Bank of India, Tata Motors and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), all with no changes in their ranking between 2018 and 2019.

The list does not take into account subsidiaries of companies and so ONGC’s ranking does not reflect those from its recently acquired Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) as well as ONGC Videsh Ltd.

Rajesh Exports climbed one position to be ranked 7th on the 2019 list and so did Tata Steel, Coal India, Tata Consultancy Services and Larsen & Toubro that were ranked 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th, respectively.

ICICI Bank rose two positions to be ranked 12th, followed by Hindalco Industries and HDFC Bank.

Vedanta Ltd slipped three positions to be ranked 18th on the 2019 list. The company faced “loss of $200 million”, Group chair Anil Agarwal told PTI, Tamil Nadu government had in May last year ordered permanent shutdown of the company’s copper smelter plant Sterlite. Several environmental activists who were raising concerns were killed in police firing

Over the past 10 years, the oil-to-retail conglomerate’s profit has been an average three times higher than that of IOC. The highest it touched compared to IOC was up to 4.8 times, in FY15 when RIL’s profit was ₹23,566 crore and the public sector major’s stood at ₹4,912 crore,” Fortune India said.

Public and private sector banks faced diverse fortunes in 2019. As many as 14 of 22 public sector banks reported cumulative losses of ₹74,253 crore. In contrast, just two private sector banks posted losses (IDFC First Bank, at ₹1,907.9 crore; and Lakshmi Vilas Bank, at ₹894.1 crore). 

Fortune India said the oil and gas sector (with eight companies) accounted for 22.3 per cent of the total revenue of the 500 companies, followed by banking with 15.88 per cent of the total, Livemint reported.

The banking sector, with 48 companies, is also the biggest contributor by way of the number of companies on the list. Oil and gas, however, has the highest share of profit in the 500, at 23.44 per cent.


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