Apple now worth more than the combined stock markets of Spain, Portugal, Greece and Ireland

“There’s long been a game to play, finding out things that Apple is worth more than,” Tim Worstall reports for Forbes. “Often the calculations are wrong: it may be true, for example, that the value of Apple stock is greater than the GDP of Poland. But this does not mean that Apple is worth more than Poland. GDP is the amount produced each year, not the capital value of what is doing the producing. Apple’s stock value is of course the capital value of the company.”

Worstall reports, “But it is still possible for there to be quite astonishing comparisons made which are indeed entirely valid. Such as this one from the Financial Times: ‘Apple became the world’s most valuable-ever company two weeks ago. It is worth $624bn, more than all the listed companies in Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain together. The employer of 63,300 people – each valued at $10m – is more valuable than all the shares available to investors in the MSCI China index, the international benchmark.'”

“Making iPhones and iPads seems to create more value than the entire stock markets of four different countries added together,” Worstall reports. “When you think through it though it’s not all that surprising…OK, no, it’s still surprising, but it’s explainable.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related article:
Apple beats Microsoft, sets all-time record for company value at $621 billion – August 20, 2012


  1. I would submit that Apple is worth more that those countries and a few others as well. This is because Apple is worth over $600 Billion and the countries mentioned are bankrupt and therefore are worth nothing.

    1. Were not quite bankrupt yet, but we are working on it.

      Speaking of bankrupt how big is the US National Debt or the Federal Budget Deficit? I think we are all living on bowered (financial) time…

      1. The US national debt will reach $16 TRILLION this week, just in time for the Democratic National Convention. (Think the Dems will mention it?) The budget deficit this FY is something like $1.2 Trillion. Many free-spending states have their own separate deficits (California’s is the worst).

        We are indeed facing economic calamity in the coming years. That national debt actually reached 100% of GDP around December of last year.

    2. The countries themselves may or may not be bankrupt (so far, none has defaulted yet, not even Greece), but that has nothing to do with the stock markets in any of those countries.

      The value of, say, Zara, or Telefonica SA will most definitely not evaporate if Spain (the government) defaults.

        1. How is the big crash on Wall Street related to any government default?

          My point here was that the stock markets don’t lose all value if a government defaults on its loans (nor does it happen the other way round).

            1. I don’t think you know what you’re talking about (notice how I’m not automatically calling you an idiot, though; that would be impolite, not to mention invalidate any intelligent argument I may have).

              A government collapsing causes nothing of note; new elections are called and a new government is elected. At worst, there may be a market drop, but rarely a major crash. Let us not forget, none of the world’s biggest stock market crashes were caused by government collapses (although in some instances, government that was in power during the crash was voted out of office at the next elections).

              Now, when a government defaults on country’s loan obligations, that is usually much more serious, but that still does not necessarily cause crash on the stock market. The main reason is that the stock market is NOT a bank. Its assets are NOT the national currency; they are just denominated in the national currency. When a currency loses its value (the way dollar has lost 30% of its value against Euro over the period of one year, some five years ago), the stock market automatically adjusts (during that period, US markets were running through the roof) because the investors perceive fairly specific and concrete value in public companies and the expression of that value in local currency is adjusted based on the value of that currency.

              So, no; stock markets DON’T necessarily collapse when “government collapses” (nor do they automatically collapse when government defaults on its loan obligations).

    3. That might sound nice, but the thing is that George W. Bush bankrupted the USA so sound that we who had any contact to those systems are screwed (Europe, China.. etc) We can’t handle your shit. You have to pay all of it and if you can’t afford it then your billionaires will want to pay it. That is for sure.

  2. How do these type of articles even get published? Who cares about market capitalization as that number is always a hiccup away from being completely irrelevant.

    Tim Cook and his gang have enough on their plate and the last thing they need is to be pressured to sustain a share price that is unsustainable.

    1. Articles such as this one are a very logical result of human curiosity. Apple is a unique case in the history of corporate world, not just in America, but globally. There has never been a company that rapidly grew as a Wall Street darling, then almost lost it all, then came back from the brink of bankruptcy to become the largest in the world ever. This type of story is the foundation of practically EVERY Hollywood movie (rags – riches – peril – even greater riches, or boy meets girl, boy wins girl, boy loses girl, boy redeems himself, wins again and marries girl…).

      The specific fascination about AAPL doesn’t really imply anything significant. After all, the article did even begin by talking about the whole thing as a game. However, it does mean at least something and it is that investors around the world believe investing in a single stock (AAPL) holds better value than investing in all individual stocks of four rather large stock markets combined.

    1. You are confusing things. The article is NOT talking about the countries themselves (i.e. government assets / debt). The article is talking about stock markets of the PIGS countries (Portugal-Ireland-Greece-Spain). Even if government(s) in any of those countries default on their obligations, the stock markets will continue to operate and investors will continue to put value on companies traded on those stock markets.

      1. originally pigs included italy and not ireland so that it was only mediterranean area countries. now it seems to be ambiguous. and sometimes the single letter means both or sometimes you see piigs. i am only saying this because i am of irish extraction and not italian!

  3. People publish such useless articles about Apple. It doesn’t boost Apple’s share price one iota. Let’s get some articles that will increase Apple’s sagging P/E into Amazon territory. There has to be some outrageous story that will excite investors to pour money into Apple.

  4. Presumably, Apple’s annual profit is greater than, and growing faster than, the combined annual profit from the companies listed in Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain. That’s the way market valuations usually work.

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