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Who is the top twenty companies?

Curious ‘unofficial’ reshuffle among top 20 profitable joint stock companies
By Aelita Syulzhina

As in 2010, Belaruskali takes the lead, having quintupled its profits, leaving its rivals far behind. Meanwhile, BelAZ has shifted from third to second position, pushing Belarusbank to sixth place. Does this indicate a new trend?

BelAZ and MAZ (ranked third) are flagships of domestic machine building, unrivalled in terms of profit growth; their net income has increased 8.7-fold and 8.2-fold respectively — a rare achievement worldwide. Of course, analysis of these figures should take into account last year’s almost triple devaluation of the Belarusian Rouble, alongside various forms of state support. Two newcomers among the top twenty are also representatives of the Industry Ministry: Amkodor JSC and Minsk Motor Works.

Banks and financial institutions account for almost half of the rankings, although their 2011 results are generally more modest than in 2010. Nevertheless, the Moscow-Minsk Bank almost tripled its profit in 2011 while Belarusbank’s profit increased 1.2 fold and Priorbank achieved a 2.3 fold rise in profits.

Several food enterprises have left the top twenty: Gorodeya and Slutsk Sugar Refineries, Dzerzhinsk Agro-Combine and Grodno’s Neman Tobacco Factory. Mikhail Kovalev, the Dean of the Belarusian State University’s Economic Department, tells us, “Banking profits fell as a result of the high refinancing rate. In my opinion, this isn’t a bad thing, since banks’ profits are unrelated to those of industry. It seems that, last year, the trend reversed. The growth of machine building enterprises testifies to the competitiveness of their goods on major markets, which can only be a good sign. The fact that their exports have suffered slightly is due to the external market situation, as is natural. Prices for raw materials and ready-made products are ever shifting — either upwards or downwards.”

Of course, profit statistics have no practical application. Lacking a market for shares, we have no important stimuli with which to attract potential investors. Therefore, the list of most profitable companies is more a reflection of the market situation, with its privileges and preferences. To gauge skilful, competent or confident asset management, we must study the issue more broadly.
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