May 18, 2022

Image credit: Bloomberg

During the tech sell-off, Apple loses its title as the most valuable company

Despite a broad sell-off in technology equities, Apple has lost its title as the world’s most valuable firm.

Aramco, the Saudi Arabian oil and gas company, has recovered the top rank from Apple for the first time in almost two years. Investors have been selling technology stocks and putting their money into less risky assets.

In New York on Wednesday, Apple’s shares fell more than 5%, valuing the corporation at $2.37 trillion (£1.94 trillion) at the end of the day.

As a result, Saudi Arabia’s Aramco, valued at $2.42 trillion, surpassed it as the world’s most valuable company.

It’s the first time Aramco has topped the rankings since 2020. Energy producer stocks have climbed this year as the price of crude oil and natural gas has increased.

On Wednesday, official data showed that US inflation remained near a more than 40-year high, sending the technology-heavy Nasdaq 3.2 per cent lower in New York.

Rising costs are the single greatest threat to the global economy’s recovery as it emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

SoftBank Group posted a record loss of $26.2 billion at its Vision Fund company on Thursday, as the value of its technology investments fell.

The loss stood in sharp contrast to the company’s record yearly profit a year prior.

Since hitting a record high in November last year, the world’s largest and most well-known cryptocurrency has lost over 60% of its value.

In January, Apple became the first business to reach a stock market valuation of $3 trillion (£2.2 trillion) in January.

According to World Bank figures, Apple’s value was more than the $2.76 trillion worth of the UK economy.

Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company, has benefited from higher energy costs.

Saudi Arabia is the leading producer in the Opec oil cartel, with Saudi Aramco’s net profit more than doubling from $49 billion in 2020 to $110 billion in 2021.

Energy prices rose sharply in 2021 as economies recovered from pandemic measures, and this year’s war in Ukraine has driven prices even higher as countries seek alternatives to Russia for supplies.