Amazon becomes most valuable publicly-traded company

Amazon has seen remarkable growth as its business has spread beyond its origins as an online bookseller. (AFP)
Updated 08 January 2019
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Amazon becomes most valuable publicly-traded company

  • The online sales goliath assumed the top spot after notching a 3.4 percent gain to finish with a market capitalization of $796.8 billion
  • Apple, long the world’s biggest company by market capitalization first lost the distinction in late November

NEW YORK: Amazon for the first time closed out Monday’s trading session as the world’s biggest publicly-traded company, overtaking Microsoft and other fellow tech behemoths.
The online sales goliath assumed the top spot after notching a 3.4 percent gain to finish with a market capitalization of $796.8 billion, about $13.2 billion more than Microsoft.
Led by Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, Amazon has seen remarkable growth as its business has spread beyond its origins as an online bookseller to myriad other retail categories.
Revenues jumped from $74.5 billion in 2013 to $177.9 billion last year and are projected to reach $232.3 billion in 2018.
Even with its latest distinction as top dog in market value, Amazon’s market capitalization stands well below its own peak in September, when it crossed $1 trillion before Wall Street’s late-2018 selloff.
Amazon’s retreat during the pullback has been less steep than that of other tech titans.
Apple, long the world’s biggest company by market capitalization first lost the distinction in late November and is currently fourth with $702 billion, behind Amazon, Microsoft and Google parent Alphabet, which has a value of $745.2 billion.
Created in a garage in a suburb of Seattle, Washington, the company, originally dubbed “Cadabra,” sold its first book — Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought by Douglas Hofstadter — in mid-1995.
By the end of that year, Amazon was selling books online throughout the US. Amazon went public in early 1997.
The company for more than a decade put growth over profit, investing heavily in warehouses, distribution networks, and data centers.
Landmark moves include the $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market in 2017, which brought it an extensive network of brick-and-mortar stores for the first time.
The company has also emerged as a major creator of original entertainment content, netting acting awards for Amazon original series at Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards.


Saudi Arabia, China sign $28 billion worth of economic accords

Updated 22 February 2019
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Saudi Arabia, China sign $28 billion worth of economic accords

  • A total 35 agreements had been signed at a joint investment forum held by Saudi Arabia’s investment agency SAGIA

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia and China signed economic cooperation agreements worth a total of $28 billion at a joint investment forum during a visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Beijing, Saudi state news agency SPA said on Friday.
It said 35 agreements had been signed at the forum, held by Saudi Arabia’s investment agency SAGIA. It also said four licenses for Chinese companies had been awarded at the forum.

The forum, which coincided with the official visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman China as part of his Asian tour, aimed at enhancing opportunities for joint cooperation between the two countries in various fields.

Other cooperation agreements signed during the forum included areas of the Kingdom's target sectors such as renewable energy aimed at activating cooperation and consultation frameworks in the field of investment development in wind turbines by manufacturing Electric control devices, wind turbine structures, turbine blades and wind generators with an investment of $ 18 million.

The agreement aims to open up to 800 new job opportunities in one of the most targeted sectors of sustainable development.