While Apple opened 2022 with a bang by breaking through stratospheric stock market value levels at the peak of the Wall Street bull market, the pendulum swung back in the opposite direction with the tightening of rates and the war in Ukraine. Meanwhile, the economic recovery was driving up fossil fuel prices, boosting the results of oil companies, led by the Wahhabi kingdom’s jewel in the crown, Aramco, once again shaking up the world rankings.
Saudi Aramco, the Saudi oil company, has just dethroned Apple as the world’s largest market capitalization. But this is not the first time.
At its IPO on December 6, 2019, Aramco passed with flying colors, raising $25 billion and achieving a valuation of $1.7 trillion. Admittedly, this was less than the $2 trillion capitalization target and the $100 billion raise hoped for by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmane when the project was announced four years earlier. But it was still the biggest IPO in history which, by projecting the Saudi oil giant directly on the first step, upset the podium of the time (Apple 1.200 billion, Microsoft 1.140 billion, and Alibaba 1.051 billion).
The pandemic makes Tech jump, the rise in rates makes it fall
But since the Covid pandemic, which accelerated the digitalization of companies in all directions, Apple’s share price has been on the rise again. After reclaiming its crown in August 2020, Apple jumped to stratospheric levels until it crossed the $3,000 billion mark in market value on January 3, 2022, at the peak of the Wall Street bull market (the share price reached $182), a level never reached by any other company.
Then, on January 5, in the wake of the Fed’s tightening of monetary policy (with higher rates causing Tech to fall), the Nasdaq index fell, and the outbreak of war in Ukraine on February 24 aggravated the situation.