• The biggest sports brands and teams

    Among the most valuable brands in sport, clothing giant Nike heads an eclectic list.

    Valued by Forbes at $15bn, the US apparel manufacturer holds a 38 per cent share of the branded footwear market.

    In second place, with a $11.5bn price tag, US broadcaster ESPN easily outshines its British rival Sky Sports, which has a valuation of $3bn.

    German sportswear firm Adidas (valued at $5bn) and American sports drink brand Gatorade ($2.5bn) make up the top five. Illustration: Leandro Castelao

    The world’s richest sports personality, former US golfer Arnold Palmer, is worth $675m

    The world’s richest sports star in top-level competition, US golfer Tiger Woods, is worth $165m

    Source: Celebrity Net Worth, Forbes

  • The world’s biggest banks

    For the first time, a Chinese bank has taken the top spot in the global rankings. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) is now the world’s biggest by tier-1 capital, according to The Banker magazine, compared with a rank of 32nd only eight years ago.

    The country now has four out of the world’s 10 biggest banks and 96 of the top 1,000. The US also has four top-10 banks, but Europe has only one: HSBC, which benefits greatly from its operations in Asia.

    At its peak price in late 2006, one Citigroup share was worth $55.70, giving the US company a market value of $277.2bn

    In 2012 HSBC agreed to pay a record fine to the US authorities (for, among other lapses, allowing itself to be used to launder drug money) of $1.92bn

    Illustration: Leandro Castelao

  • The increasing value of intangible assets

    Over the past 25 years the market values of the S&P 500 companies have deviated greatly from their book values.

    This value gap indicates that the physical and financial accountable assets reflected on an average company’s balance sheet today comprises no more than 20 per cent of its true value.

    Research from intellectual property bank Ocean Tomo shows that a significant portion of this intangible value is represented by patented technology.


    was a breakthrough year in the development of standards for reporting intangible assets, when the then International Accounting Standards Committee published exposure draft E9, “Accounting for research and development costs”.

    When 560 executives were interviewed for a 2010 Hay Group report entitled “The silver bullet of success: winners and losers in the M&A game”, the research found that they attributed no more than a third of an organisation’s value to its intangible assets.

    Source: Ocean Tomo/Hay Group and mergermarket/Financial Reporting and Global Capital Markets (Oxford University Press, 2007).
    NB: In 2009 tangible assets as a proportion of total market value in the S&P 500 hit a peak of 81 per cent.

    Illustration: Leandro Castelao

  • Biggest insured losses

    Natural catastrophes and man-made disasters caused economic losses of $186bn and the loss of approximately 14,000 lives last year.

    Large-scale weather events in the US pushed the annual insurance claim total to $77bn, according to Swiss Re, making 2012 the third most expensive year on record for insurers.

    This was still significantly lower than 2011’s figure, when earthquakes and floods in Asia Pacific led to historic insured losses of more than $126bn – the highest total ever recorded.

    Illustration: Leandro Castelao


    The total economic cost of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami is estimated at $214bn
    (Source: World Vision, 2013)

    By 2016, the economic cost to Belarus of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster is forecast to be $235bn
    (Source: government of Belarus, 2008)

  • Biggest rogue traders

    Rogue trading is a global phenomenon, with some of the biggest crimes committed in North America, Europe, Asia and Australasia.

    As far as punishment goes, there appears to be little consistency in relation to the size of the losses.

    The graphic shows (in US$) rogue trades that have been publicly revealed – there may be similar or bigger losses that have either gone undiscovered or kept under wraps.

    Source: National Association of Insurance Commissioners (Numbers 1,4,5 and 9 converted to US$ as of 26/3/13). *Formerly Daiwa Bank
    Illustration: Leandro Castelao

  • The rise of Chinese innovation

    Just how global the rise in patents is becoming can be seen in the rapid increase in patent applications by Chinese companies, reflecting China’s rapid growth as an economic superpower.

    Figures published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in December 2012 reveal China moved ahead of the US in the number of patents registered in its own market.

    China’s Patent Office has received more applications than any other country’s since 2011, three-quarters of them lodged by Chinese companies.

  • Fall and rise of the world’s richest

    The number of American and Russian billionaires fell sharply in 2008 as a result of the value of property and other investments falling sharply in the wake of the financial crisis.

    The numbers of billionaires in those countries have recovered since, but not at the same pace as the growth of Chinese billionaires, according to Forbes’ figures.

    The result of the sharp increase of China’s wealthiest has been reflected in an unrelenting appetite for luxury goods.

    In 2007, Chinese purchases of luxury goods represented a mere 5 per cent of global luxury sales, but by 2012 accounted for a quarter of all sales, according to a recent report by HSBC China.

    It said that only one-tenth of sales of luxury goods sold to Chinese nationals are actually made in mainland China.

  • Asia Pacific on the ascent

    The OECD and the Brookings Institution define the middle class as those earning $10 to $100 at purchasing power parity per day.

    On this basis, more than half of the world’s middle classes are forecast to be in the Asia Pacific region in less than ten years, compared to the current proportion of only one in four.

    Whereas the middle class is described as “squeezed” in the UK and the US, it is growing at various speeds in emerging markets.

    China is set to raise both its headcount of people in the middle class and their average spending over the next decade.

    India has a small middle-class range, but the country has the 14th largest middle-class spending power in the world due to the size of its population, a similar scale of overall spending to that of Canada or Spain.

    The red regions comprise the affluent nations; the blue the “converging” regions, where the breadth and density of the middle class is growing rapidly; the green areas are areas where structural income disparities have helped stall middle-class development; while the purple areas are “struggling”.

    In this map, Brazil is the real surprise and is considered – at least in this treatment – as “stalled”.

  • Chinese suppliers

    As the world’s second biggest spender on defence, China has developed a substantial industry in the sector.

    However, knowledge about the size of the manufacturers is limited.

    “Although it is known that several Chinese arms-producing enterprises are large enough to rank among the SIPRI Top 100, a lack of comparable and sufficiently accurate data makes it impossible to include them,” says Susan T Jackson, senior researcher and head of the arms production project in the military expenditure and arms production programme at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

    “There are also companies in other countries, such as Kazakhstan and Ukraine, that could be large enough to appear in the SIPRI Top 100 list were data available, but this is less certain,” says Jackson.

    Source: SIPRI

  • World economic growth rates (real GDP)

    The Data mapper reveals current annual growth levels for the world’s economies according to the International Monetary Fund (as at April 2012).

    It analyses the size of real growth of gross domestic product (GDP). The most striking aspect of the map is that large parts of Asia, Africa, South America and Eastern Europe are experiencing between three and six per cent annual growth.

    In many Asian and African countries the growth rate is between six and ten per cent.

    This picture is in stark contrast to most of Western Europe, Japan, Canada and New Zealand, which are experiencing less than three per cent growth.

    The Data mapper shows in sharp relief the impact of the eurozone sovereign debt crisis.

    This is at the same time that the rest of the world, with some exceptions, including the economically stagnant countries in central Africa, appears to be shaking off the effects of the global financial crisis.

  • Global equality by country

    The Gini index measures the extent to which the distribution of income or consumption expenditure among individuals or households within an economy deviates from a perfectly equal distribution. Thus, a Gini index of 0 represents perfect equality, while an index of 100 implies perfect inequality.

  • Significant talent gaps expected by 2020

    Talent spotting
    This global map shows the predicted shifting trends in talent gaps over the next 30 years.

    The major trend is that, with the exception of Russia, the BRIC countries of Brazil, India and China are not expecting a talent shortfall as their economies continue to expand.

    However, the story is not the same with the traditional economic powerhouses of the US, Germany and Japan, where a shortage of talent is expected to continue all the way through to 2030.

    Map: Graphics Factory CC

  • Locations of the world’s 50 safest banks

    Safe locations
    The position of the banks (2012 and 2007 positions) was decided by rankings created through an evaluation of long-term credit ratings – from Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch – and total assets of the 500 largest banks worldwide.

    The results reveal that the financial crisis hit UK banks the most, with RBS, Lloyds TSB, HBOS (which merged) and Ulster bank falling out of the 50.

    Meanwhile, leading banks in Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Italy also crashed out. Asian and Middle Eastern banks took their places.

    World map: Graphics Factory CC

  • Global locations of the Fortune 500 companies




  • Global proliferation of nuclear power stations

    Going nuclear
    There are currently 435 nuclear power plant units with an installed electric net capacity of about 368 GW in operation in 31 countries, and a further 63 plants under construction in 15 countries with an installed capacity of 61 GW.

    By the end of 2010, the total electricity production since 1951 amounts to 67,240 billion kWh.

    The cumulative operating experience amounted to 14,745 years by February 2012.

    Although the US, France and Japan have the most reactors, it is the BRIC countries of China, Russia and India that are committed to building the most new reactors as of February 2012.

  • The ten largest sovereign wealth funds

    Measuring wealth
    The value of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds is largely a representation of those countries which hold the largest energy assets, especially oil – with the exception of economies with large export assets.

    The rationale for creating the funds has been to ensure the capital created from energy price spikes is invested effectively.

    The investment outflows from these countries have been modest in recent years, reflecting a conservative attitude to investing during a time when the value of assets has broadly fallen.

  • The top ten oil consumers and producers 2010

    Oil follows general energy trend
    Energy consumption in general soared by more than five per cent in the G20 countries in 2010, following a slight decrease in 2009.

    This increase was the result of two converging trends.

    On the one hand, industrialised countries, which experienced sharp decreases in energy demand in 2009, recovered firmly in 2010, almost coming back to historical trends.

    The oil market followed the same trend. On the other hand, China and India continued their intense demand for all forms of energy.

  • Emerging middle class in developing countries

    A driving force for growth
    Rapidly growing middle classes with considerable spending power and a desire for high-value goods are helping drive growth in the economies of Asian countries.

    However, the arrival of a billion more middle-class consumers will also speed up the shift of East Asian economies from focusing on export-led development to more consumption-driven growth.

  • China shows the way

    With the financial crisis spreading rapidly across Europe, government spending remains firmly in the spotlight.

    This analysis of government spending as a proportion of GDP shows France, Italy and Germany as spending more than the UK. On a global level, China’s government spending equates to just 19.2 per cent of its GDP. The US figure is nearly 39 per cent.

  • Major power transitions 2012

    Global elections of 2012
    Market stability, public debt and the health of the global economy will dominate election campaigns across the world during 2012 – a year of political change in many major countries.

    This graphic maps out when and where the major power shifts are set to take place, using GDP as a relative indicator of their global economic significance.

  • Japan leads Asia’s patent drive

    As this infographic shows, Japan is now the world’s dominant force when it comes to patents granted, with nearly 225,000 issued in 2009.

    While the US runs second, with 135,000 patents in the same year, a host of other Asian countries follow.

    China and the Republic of Korea sit in third and fourth places respectively.

    Germany dominated the European region, with 44,000 patents issued in 2009 compared with the UK’s 10,000.

  • 25 Fastest-growing global companies

    The dominance of the US and China on the global economic landscape is clearly illustrated by plotting the fastest growing companies on a world map

  • IFRS: the journey to global convergence

    Global standards
    International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) are designed to create a single set of “high quality, enforceable and globally accepted” reporting standards.

    This graphic uses traffic lights to show which countries have already adopted mandatory IFRS (green); which have set a timeline for doing so (amber); and which have still to put a full plan in place (red).


  • Global unemployment rates in 2010

    Battling for a wage
    Global unemployment rose by 29 million between 2007 and 2009, with those aged 15 to 24 often worst hit. The youth unemployment rate in the Middle East (23.9 per cent) and north Africa (24 per cent) also highlight one of the main drivers behind the political uprisings in that region – a warning for South Africa, which has a youth unemployment rate of 50.5 per cent, and Spain, where it is 41.6 per cent.

    Youth unemployment rate by region (%) (2011 estimates)
    North Africa 24.0
    Middle East 23.9
    Central and south-eastern Europe 18.2
    Latin America and the Caribbean 15.2
    South-east Asia and the Pacific 14.6
    Developed economies and EU 12.7
    Sub-Saharan Africa 12.3
    South Asia 9.8
    East Asia 8.1

  • Oil reserves by country

    Despite growing concerns about carbon emissions and advances in renewable energy technologies, global oil consumption continues to rise. So where do the world’s remaining oil supplies reside? As this graphic starkly illustrates, Saudi Arabia is home to by far the largest oil reserves: 262.7 billion barrels – 47 per cent more than Canada, the country with the second largest oil reserves in the world.

  • The carbon culprits

    One unfortunate by-product of the close economic rivalry between China and the US is the size of their carbon footprints. In 2007, China contributed 22.3% of the world’s annual CO2 emissions, compared with 19.9% for the US. The other fast-growing Bric economies were a long way behind: Brazil (1.26%), Russia (5.24%) and India (5.5%). Other major emitters were Japan (4.28%) and Germany (2.69%).

  • Global demographic shifts

    TREND 1
    The world’s population is on course to reach seven billion in 2011 and 9.07 billion by 2050 – an estimated 62 per cent of which will be living in Africa, South Asia and East Asia. 

    TREND 2
    An estimated 2.2 million migrants will arrive in the developed world every year from now until 2050, according to the UN, driven by economic disparities and the effects of climate change.
    TREND 3
    For example, although the populations of Germany and Ethiopia are currently almost equal, annual births number 3.3 million in Ethiopia versus 650,000 in Germany.
    TREND 4
    Europe accounted for 13.3 per cent of the world’s population in 1960 but only 7.5 per cent in 2005. By 2050 it will have dropped to 5 per cent.
    TREND 5
    In 1950, 8 per cent of the population was over the age of 60. By 2050 it will be 22 per cent – that’s two billion more elderly people than there are today.
  • The growth spectrum

    The global financial crisis continued to take its toll on the G8 group of rich economies in 2009, all of which shrank in size. But it was the emerging markets of eastern Europe that suffered the most – Latvia’s GDP declined by almost 18 per cent. Meanwhile, Afghanistan led an eclectic mix of resilient emerging economies, growing at 23 per cent.

    Source: International Monetary Fund, actual and estimated figures for 2009


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