Its sizable domestic market and the increasing internationalization of project awards helped China to dominate GlobalData’s rankings of the leading 500 construction contractors around the world.
According to GlobalData, four of the top five positions continue to be held by Chinese firms. The only non-Chinese contractor in the top five is Spain’s Actividades de Construccion y Servicios SA (ACS), a group that includes Spain-based Dragados, Germany-based Hochtief AG and Australia-based CIMIC.
China-based contractors in the Global 500 Contractors list had executed contract values of US$327.4 billion in 2019, ahead of US-based contractors (US$154.8 billion), UK-based contractors (US$72.1 billion) and India-based contractors (US$70.7 billion). However, in terms of the number of companies on the list, the US dominates with 83 companies. There are 38 companies with headquarters in China, which is behind the UK (40) and India (41).
Danny Richards, lead economist at GlobalData, comments: “Although the largest Chinese contractors are becoming increasingly involved in major infrastructure projects throughout Asia, Europe and the Middle East and Africa, they remain heavily reliant on operations within China. By contrast, ACS is among the most diversified contractors in terms of sectors and regions in which it operates, which reflects the wide range of subsidiaries that come under the ACS group.”
Based on GlobalData’s sector diversification index, ACS attains a score of 0.81*, and for geographic diversification a score of 0.77**.
Infrastructure projects comprising roads, railways, airports and ports account for the largest proportion of the executed contract values for the Global 500 Contractors, totaling US$453.5 billion. This is ahead of the energy and utilities sector - mainly comprising oil and gas, power generation, water and sewerage projects - which had an executed contract value of US$361.5 billion. All buildings projects, both residential and non-residential, had executed contract values of US$302.3 billion, while industrial projects amounted to US$64.8 billion in 2019.