The Largest Companies In Brazil

Many of the largest companies in Brazil are banks, including the Banco do Brasil. Photo credit: Deni Williams /
Many of the largest companies in Brazil are banks, including the Banco do Brasil. Photo credit: Deni Williams /

Brazil is a country characterized by a mixed economy relying on import substitution to achieve economic growth. Natural resources make up an estimated US$ 21.8 trillion worth, with a significant amount of iron, timber, gold, and uranium. By late 2010, the economy of Brazil was the second largest in the Americas and the largest in Latin America. The country’s economy was among the fastest-growing major economies with a GDP rate of above 5% overtaking the UK and becoming the world's 6th largest economy temporarily in 2012. In 2013, there was a growth decline as Brazil went into recession in 2014. However, this was short-lived, and as of 2017, the country’s economy made a tremendous recovery with a 1% GDP growth rate during the first quarter. It also registered an economic growth of 0.3% compared to the previous year, bringing an end to the recession. In 2009, Brazil rose up eight positions for the first time overtaking Russia, while also bridging the competitive gap between India and China among the BRIC economies. Since the 1990s, steps have been taken to ensure that there is liberalization and open the market which has significantly improved the competitive fundamentals, creating a favorable environment to enable the development of the private sector.

Largest Companies In Brazil

According to the 2017 Forbes Global 2000 List, Itaú Unibanco is the biggest company in Brazil with $419.9 billion in assets and $79.2 billion in market value. The company is headquartered in Sao Paulo. Banco Bradesco which is headquartered in Osasco, SP is the second largest company in Brazil with $362.4 billion in assets and $53.5 billion in market value. The third largest company in Brazil with $430.6 billion in assets and 2$29 billion in market value is Banco do Brazil which is headquartered in Brasilia. All of the top three companies belong to the banking industry. Other major companies in the country include Vale, Petrobras, Eletrobas, Itausa, JBS, Ultrapar, and Cielo among others. Of the top twenty largest companies in Brazil 10 are headquartered in Sao Paulo, 3 in Rio de Janeiro while the rest are distributed in other cities

History Of Economic Development

In the 16th century, the Portuguese explorers arrived in Brazil which had a population of about 2.5 million and an economy that relied on primary products for export. As a colony, Brazil was subjected to an imperial mercantile policy by the Portuguese Empire, with a large-scale production cycle of three primary commodities, gold, sugar, and coffee as of early 19th century. Brazil heavily depended on African slave labor up until the end of the nineteenth century. A large number of European settlers such as the Spaniards, French, Danish, Scottish, Sephardic Jews, Dutch, and the English, played a role in the expansion of the economy and demographic growth. It was mainly due to the mass immigration from Europe with a population of about 4.5 million people into Brazil between 1882 and 1934.

Brazil’s Current Economic Condition

At present, Brazil has over 204 million people and a large production of natural resources, putting the country among the world’s ten largest markets. Brazil produces about 70 million cubic meters of petroleum which is processed into fuel, petrochemicals, lubricants, and propane gas. The country also features 161,500 kilometers of paved roads and an installed electric power capacity of 93 Gigawatts. The industrial sector makes three-fifths of the industrial economy. Technological and scientific development has greatly attracted foreign direct investors with an average US$30 billion per year. More companies are being established in the country as the existing ones continue to thrive.

The Largest Companies In Brazil

RankWorld RankCompanyIndustryRevenue (billion $)Profits (billion $)Assets (billion $)Market Value (billion $)Headquarters
138Itaú UnibancoBanking61.36.7419.979.2São Paulo
262Banco BradescoBanking70.24.3362.453.5Osasco, SP
3132Banco do BrasilBanking57.32.3430.629Brasilia
4156ValeMining27.13.899.145.4São Paulo
5399PetrobrasOil & Gas81.1-4.3247.361.3Rio de Janeiro
6610EletrobrasUtilities17.40.98352.47.2Rio de Janeiro
7791ItaúsaConglomerate1.32.418.123São Paulo
8895JBSFood Processing48.90.10831.68.2São Paulo
9981UltraparConglomerate22.20.4487.412.5São Paulo
101103CieloFinancial services3.51.19.420.9Barueri, SP
111233BraskemChemicals13.8-0.13615.97.9São Paulo
121325BRFFood processing9.7-0.10713.89.3Itajaí, SC
131436SabespWaste Management40.84611.67.4São Paulo
141503OiTelecommunications7.5-225.20.952Rio de Janeiro
151515GerdauIron & Steel10.8-0.39516.81.4Porto Alegre, RS
161545CBDRetail120.13913.95.9São Paulo
171572CCRTransportation2.90.4297.511.5São Paulo
181597BovespaStock Exchange0.6660.4159.712.8São Paulo
191735CPFL EnergiaEletricity5.40.258138.4Campinas, SP
201895Kroton EducacionalHigher Education1.50.5355.47.1Belo Horizonte, MG

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