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The Fortunes of Africa’s Top 250 Companies

As African leaders slammed the brakes on economic activities and put their countries or cities into lockdown to block the spread of the coronavirus, businesses and jobs were collapsing into intensive care and could be among the biggest casualties of the health crisis. This year’s Top 250 Companies survey highlights the overall carnage in African share valuations in the last few years and even more so in March 2020. The survey ranks African or Africa-focused companies listed on public securities exchanges according to their market valuation, also known as “market capitalisation”. Total value for all 250 firms on the list this year is $597.7bn, down 20% from last year’s total of $748.2bn. But last year had seen a 16% fall compared to total market capitalisation of $887.1bn in March 2018 and this year’s total value is 37% below peak value of $948.3bn in 2015. The market value of the 250th company – in other words the cut-off market capitalisation to join the Top 250 list – was $195m in 2020, compared to $394m in 2018.