According to Reuters calculations, PetroChina is now the largest market capitalization company in the world. The company recently raised US$9 billion, in an A-share listing in Shanghai. The shares opened at 48.60 Renminbi (RMB) per share, almost triple the IPO price of 16.70 RMB. After the jump in A-share price, PetroChina now sports a total market value of US$1.1 trillion, double that of #2 Exxon Mobile, which currently has a US$488 bilion market value. Click here for more on the top ten largest market capitalization companies in the world.
The anamolies in pricing between the A-share and H-share markets as well as the limited free-float of many A-shares distorts the market capitalization of many Chinese companies. Although PetroChina's IPO was the largest in the world this year and the largest ever for China's domestic stock market, the 4 billion A shares offered represent only about 2.2% of the total company. Most of the shares are still held by the Chinese government so it is easy for strong demand to overwhelm a limited free float. As if to highlight the difference between A and H-shares, Petrochina's Hong Kong listed H-shares actually traded down almost 7% before lunchtime this morning.