5 Top Public Sector Companies in India

India's biggest state-owned companies ranked by net sales

India is a quickly developing country that has adopted a mixed economic system post-independence, with the government remaining involved in several key industries. In fact, seven Indian companies made it to the latest 2019 Global Fortune 500 list and four of them are in the public sector. Here we take a look at the five largest state-owned publicly traded companies in India. The companies ranked here are majority-owned by the state and called Public Sector Undertakings (PSU).

1. Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (BSE: 530965, NSE: IOC)

According to the 2019 Global Fortune 500 list based on 2018 revenues, Indian Oil's revenues were $77.6 billion dollars, which grew 17.7% over the past year.

India is the world's third-largest energy consumer, and the state-owned Indian Oil is the country's flagship energy major. Founded in 1959, its core business is refining, transporting, and marketing petroleum products. The company has a workforce of over 33,000, and it is the largest contributor to the national exchequer in the form of duties and taxes. In the 2018 fiscal year, its refinery throughput increased to 69 MMT from 65.19 MMT the previous year and it saw its net profit increase 11.72% from the previous year to 213 billion rupees.

2. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BSE: 500547, NSE: BPCL)

Bharat's sales had $42.9 billion in revenues in 2018, up 16.5% in the past year with profits of 1.1 billion.

BPCL was established in 1952 and taken over by the Indian government in 1976. It operates crude oil refineries at Mumbai and Kochi and sells petroleum products. The company logo is a familiar sight of Indian roads thanks to its network of over 14,000 fuel stations. In the 2018 fiscal year, its refinery crude throughput increased to 28.54 MMT from 25.39 MMT the previous year and its net profit was 79 billion rupees.

3. State Bank of India (BSE: 500112, NSE: SBIN)

The State Bank of India had revenues of $47.3 billion in 2018, ranking as the 236th biggest company in the world.

Headquartered in India's financial capital, Mumbai, India's largest commercial bank was originally the Imperial Bank of India established in 1921. In 1955, India's central bank took a controlling interest in it and in 2007 transferred its 59.7% stake to the central government. SBI has deposits of over 28 trillion rupees, has issued 260 million debit cards and has a network of 59,541 ATMs all over the country. It reported a net loss of 65 billion rupees in the 2018 fiscal year.

4. Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BSE: 500104, NSE: HINDPETRO)

Hindustan Petroleum, which engages in the refining of crude oil and marketing of petroleum products, was formed in 1974 when the government took over two refining companies belonging to the private sector. In the 2018 fiscal year it recorded refining throughput of 18.3 MMT and saw its highest ever net profit of 63 billion rupees. It has about 25% market share in India.

5. Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (BSE: 500312, NSE: ONGC)

Oil & Natural Gas Corporation had $61.4 billion in revenue in 2018, growing 19.9% in the past year with $4.3 million in profits.

Founded in 1956 by the government, ONGC is India's leading upstream petroleum company and is among the most profitable PSUs in the country. It produces 1.2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day and is responsible for discovering 83% of established reserves in the country. In the 2018 fiscal year, it reported net profit of 199 billion rupees and produced 22.31 MMT of crude oil, not including its share in joint ventures.

Stocks of all the companies mentioned above except for SBI are included in the holdings of the WisdomTree India Earnings Fund (EPI). Other exchange-traded funds that offer exposure to some of these stocks are Invesco India ETF (PIN) and Franklin FTSE India ETF (FLIN).

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