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World's top 10 companies

July 31, 2008

HSBC Holdings tops the Forbes 2000 list, it's followed by General Electric and Bank of America.

The rankings are based on a combination of the sales, profits, assets and market capitalisation of these companies. Check out the world's top ten companies...

1. HSBC Holdings

"We have a clear strategy, it is focused on investing and developing our powerful emerging markets franchises. We will continue to do that," Stephen Green, chairman, HSBC.

The 'world's local bank' is HSBC's tagline. Headquartered in London, HSBC is one of the largest banking and financial services organisations in the world. It comprises of over 10,000 offices in 83 countries across Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa. HSBC is listed on the London, Hong Kong, New York, Paris and Bermuda stock exchanges.

Shares in HSBC Holdings plc are held by around 200,000 shareholders. HSBC offers a range of financial services: personal financial services, commercial banking, corporate, investment banking and markets and private banking. HSBC Holdings has reported sales to the tune of $146.50 billion and profits of $19.13 billion in 2007.

History: The HSBC Group is named after its founding member, The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, which was established in 1865 to finance the growing trade between Europe, India and China. The inspiration behind the founding of the bank was Thomas Sutherland, who was then working for the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. Seeing the potential of local banking facilities in Hong Kong and on the China coast and he helped to establish the bank which opened in Hong Kong in March 1865 and in Shanghai a month later.

Image: The Hong Kong headquarters of HSBC Holdings. | Photograph: Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images

Also read: World's 8 biggest stock exchanges
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