• Kyodo


Fortune magazine on Monday released its list of the world’s 500 biggest companies in terms of dollar-denominated revenues in 1999. The list included 107 Japanese companies.

The number of Japanese companies in the Global 500 in 1999 increased from 100 in 1998, the first rise in five years and reflecting Japan’s mild economic recovery.

General Motors Corp. retained its No. 1 position in the revenue rankings, followed by two other U.S. companies — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Exxon Mobil Corp.

Of the 107 Japanese companies on the list, Mitsu & Co. ranked sixth, Mitsubishi Corp. seventh, Toyota Motor Corp. eighth and Itochu Corp. was 10th.

The 107 companies combined chalked up profits of $22.2 billion in 1999, compared with the $9.2 billion loss incurred by Japanese firms in 1998.

Reflecting brisk economic activity in the United States, the Global 500 includes 179 U.S. companies — the largest number by country. Those firms boosted combined revenues in 1999 by 11 percent and profits by 21 percent over the previous year.

With Asia experiencing an economic resurgence in 1999, 12 South Korea companies and 10 Chinese firms made the 500 list, up from nine and six, respectively.

Meanwhile, General Electric Co. of the U.S. was the most profitable corporation with $10.7 billion, Fortune said.

In 1999, GE and 13 other companies earned more than $6 billion, an increase from seven in 1998.

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