Asia's best companies 1999: Asia's new top crop
Euromoney's latest brokers' poll of Asia's Best Companies took place against the backdrop of cyclical economic recovery accompanied by partial reform. India's best have come top in a number of sectors for the first time, while Korean and Hong Kong corporates also do well. After robust growth this year IT and other technology companies continue to top several country polls. Research by Andrew Newby and Alexa Marx.
Indian companies are the stars this year, heading no less than seven sector polls: autos and auto parts (Hero Honda, Punjab Motors), engineering (Larsen and Toubro is first equal with ST Engineering of Singapore), media (Subash Chandra's Zee Telefilm replaces Newscorp), metals & mining (Hindalco), pharmaceuticals (the top four slots are occupied by Glaxo Wellcome, Ranbaxy, Dr Reddy's Lab, Novartis), petrochemicals (Reliance Industries) and cellular telecoms (MTNL). Infosys ranks third this year in the technology sector and Grasim is now second in conglomerates. ICICI Bank comes in eighth in the banking poll having followed Infosys' Nasdaq flotation last March with a listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Newscorp's removal from the top media slot by former alliance partner Zee Telefilm coincides with Zee's acquisition in October of Star Television's stake in three joint venture broadcasting and cable businesses.
Korea has made the strongest recovery of all the Asian economies and leads in insurance (Samsung Fire and Marine Insurance), iron and steel (Pohang), textiles (Hankook Synthetic) and utilities (Korea Electric Power).