SINGAPORE: Eighty-five Singaporean companies have secured spots on Fortune’s first-ever Southeast Asia 500 rankings for 2024.

Singapore-based commodities giant Trafigura is leading the charge, which not only topped the Singaporean list but also clinched the number one spot overall.

Trafigura, a privately held firm specializing in trading minerals, metals, and energy, distinguished itself with impressive sales figures, raking in US$244 billion.

Despite its size and revenue, Trafigura was notable for having the fewest employees among the top ten companies by revenue, highlighting its efficient operational model. It was also recognized as the second most profitable company in the group.

Alongside Trafigura, four other Singaporean firms were listed among the top 10:

  • Wilmar International: Ranked 4th, this agribusiness heavyweight is a leading player in the global palm oil industry;
  • Olam Group: Occupying the 5th spot, Olam is a major player in food and agri-business;
  • Flex: At 8th, this global supply chain solutions provider is a key player in manufacturing services;
  • DBS Bank: Ranked 10th, DBS is celebrated as Southeast Asia’s leading bank in profits and revenue.
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United Overseas Bank (UOB) and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) further represented Singapore’s financial sector, which ranked 11th and 12th, respectively.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) secured the 18th position, and SEA Limited, a leading internet company, was placed 20th. Telecommunications giant Singtel narrowly missed the top 25, landing at 26th.

The top ten companies on the Southeast Asia 500 list collectively reported revenues totalling US$650 billion, representing over one-third of the fiscal year 2023 revenues for all companies on the list.

The overall revenue for the Southeast Asia 500 reached US$1.8 trillion.

Beyond Singapore, the top ten included notable companies from other Southeast Asian nations:

  • Thailand: CP All (7th) and PTT (2nd);
  • Philippines: San Miguel Corporation (9th);
  • Indonesia: Pertamina (3rd) and Perusahaan Listrik Negara (6th).

Indonesia emerged as the frontrunner in terms of sheer numbers, with 110 companies making the Southeast Asia 500 list. Thailand followed closely with 107 companies, while Malaysia placed third with 89 companies, slightly ahead of Singapore.

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The report highlighted energy companies’ significant presence in the top ten, with three firms—PTT, Pertamina, and Perusahaan Listrik Negara—securing high positions.

The energy sector’s performance, however, saw a downturn, contributing to an overall shrinkage in revenues and profits for the Southeast Asia 500 companies, largely due to weaker energy markets over the past year.

Despite this, several companies demonstrated rapid growth. Notable among them were Indonesian mining firms like Harita Nickel and Merdeka Battery Materials, as well as travel companies such as Thai Airways.

Additionally, insurers and banks showed robust growth, defying the broader market trend. /TISG