The Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) was ranked the top company in the Arab world, according to the Top 500 Companies in the Arab World 2014 ranking released by Forbes Middle East on Thursday.

The list, which features public companies, was based on last year’s disclosed financial statements, collated from stock markets in the region. Factors considered when creating the list include total revenue, net profits, total assets, and market capitalisation.

SABIC, with $50 billion in revenues and an asset base of $90.4 billion, was followed by Saudi Telecom, Qatar’s QNB, Etisalat and Saudi Electricity. Gulf companies dominate the list, with the top 10 including four entries from Saudi Arabia, three from the UAE, two from Qatar and one from Kuwait. Saudi Arabia dominated the entire ranking.

The combined revenues of the top 500 companies as of December 2013 stood at $383.67 billion, while net profits amount to $71.68 billion. These figures show year-on-year increases of 12 per cent and 16.2 per cent, respectively. Aggregated total assets grew 19 per cent to reach $2.64 trillion.

“These companies are the legacy of our time. They are bringing diversification to the region’s economies and carrying that success to international soil,” said Hannah Stewart, executive editor at Forbes Middle East, in a statement.

Six UAE companies made it to the top 20 list including Etisalat, National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), First Gulf Bank (FGB), Emirates NBD, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) and Emaar Properties. There were a total of 74 UAE companies in the list. Etisalat, the top UAE company in the list, has a market value of $25.8 billion and $1.9 billion in profits.

André Sayegh, chief executive of FGB, which ranked eighth in the list, said in a statement: “This prestigious recognition from Forbes highlights our position as one of the UAE’s leading banks and reflects our impressive financial results and ability to fulfil the requirements of the markets we operate in.” The industrial sector was the most represented in the list, with 107 companies. The banking sector followed with 101 companies.

“The reason why we have a lot of banks in the top 20 is that banks typically have a high asset base and revenues due to government regulation and basic the nature of the business,” Jason Lasrado, researcher at Forbes Middle East, told Gulf News.

The UAE dominated the banking sector, with 23 entries, followed by Jordan with 15 banks. Among the list’s 56 real estate and construction companies, the UAE dominated the top 10, with four entries, including Emaar Properties, Aldar Properties, Arabtec and Union Properties.