Mega Cap

DEFINITION of 'Mega Cap'

The biggest companies in the investment universe, as measured by market capitalization. While there is no exact definition of the term, mega cap generally refers to companies with a market cap exceeding $100 billion. Mega caps are usually household names with strong brand recognition and global operations, such as Exxon Mobil, Apple, Microsoft, Nestle and IBM.

BREAKING DOWN 'Mega Cap'

The ranks of the mega caps were traditionally dominated by companies from the U.S., Europe and Japan. However, the steady rise of the biggest emerging nations in the new Millennium, has resulted in increasing representation from companies in nations such as China. As of 2011, three Chinese companies ranked among the world's 10 biggest mega caps: PetroChina, the Industrial Commercial Bank of China and China Construction.


On a sectoral basis, the commodity boom in the first decade of the new Millennium resulted in many energy and resource companies achieving mega-cap status. On the flip side, the dramatic decline in U.S. and European banks in the aftermath of the 2008 global credit crisis, resulted in some of the biggest banks losing mega-cap status.

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