Biggest companies in Australia: your guide to the most-valuable AU brands

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A headshot of Patrick Foot, financial writer for and CityIndex
By :  ,  Former Senior Financial Writer

Australia is home to some key blue-chip stocks, but which companies dominate the ASX 200 index? Find out with our guide to the biggest companies in Australia.

What are the biggest Australian companies by market cap?

As of May 2023, the most-valuable companies listed in Australia are as follows:




Market cap (AU$m)


BHP Group




Commonwealth Bank of Australia








National Australia Bank








Westpac Banking Corporation




Woodside Energy Group




Fortescue Metals Group




Macquarie Group








Woolworths Group




Telstra Group




RIO Tinto




Goodman Group




Transurban Group




Aristocrat Leisure








QBE Insurance Group




Newcrest Mining




REA Group



The biggest company in Australia: BHP Group (ASX:BHP)

Fittingly given Australia’s vast natural resources and commodity-driven economy, the country’s biggest company is BHP Group, the metals mining giant. Not only is it the biggest company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), but it is also the biggest mining company in the world by market cap, ahead of Rio Tinto and Glencore.

Founded as the Broken Hill Proprietary Company in 1885, it was known as BHP Billiton for much of the 21st century – but dropped the Billiton and became known as just BHP Group in 2018. It was previously listed on both the ASX and the London Stock Exchange, but became solely listed in Australia in 2022.

BHP mines for four primary resources: coal, copper, iron ore and petroleum. It mines for metals in Australia, North America and South America, and petroleum in the US, Australia, the UK, Trinidad and Tobago and Algeria. The company operates around 40 mines and gas fields in total.

The rest of the biggest companies in Australia

2. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)

The second biggest Australian company is Commonwealth Bank of Australia, also known as CommBank.

Unlike, say, the international stocks on the list of the biggest companies in the UK, many top Australian stocks are mostly domestic facing. While CBA has operations in the US and UK, it derives most of its profits from the Australian and New Zealand markets. It is the biggest of the ‘top four’ AU banks, ahead of National Australia Bank, Westpac and ANZ – all of which feature on our list.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia was formed in 1911 as a government institution. From 1920 to 1959, it acted as Australia’s central bank, issuing bank notes instead of the treasury. In 1960, its central bank functions were spun off as the Reserve Bank of Australia, and the solely commercial bank was formed.


CSL is a multinational biotech company and the third-biggest stock in Australia by market cap. Like CBA, it was originally formed as a government institution – in this case, Commonwealth Serum Laboratories. The CSL we know today was formed when the company was privatised in 1994.

CSL’s products are focused on treating serious human conditions and include:

  • Blood plasma derivatives
  • Vaccines
  • Antivenom
  • Cell culture reagents

It created the first vaccine for the H1N1 swine flu pandemic and manufactured the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid vaccine for use in Australia.

The stock rose to the top echelons of the ASX in 2019 when it posted 50% growth thanks to strong demand for its immunoglobin and albumin products. Today, it trades a little off its record high, achieved in early 2020.

4. National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB)

Next up in the list of Australia’s biggest companies is a trio of big banks, starting with the National Australia Bank. NAB is the second-biggest banking stock in the country, but not by much – with a cap of AU$89 billion, it isn’t that far off its close competitors ANZ ($76 billion) and Westpac ($73 billion).

The National Bank of Australia is split into eight divisions across three regions:

  • Most of its business comes from Australia itself, where it has business, personal, online and private wealth operations
  • It operates the Bank of New Zealand in New Zealand, with over a million customers in the country
  • Its global division mostly focuses on Asia

The bank was formed from a merger between the National Bank of Australasia and the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney in 1982.


The third biggest of the ‘big four’ by market cap is Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, or ANZ. It ranks second by total assets, behind Commonwealth Bank.

ANZ derives most of its profit from the Australian market, but also acts as the biggest bank in New Zealand through its ANZ Bank New Zealand subsidiary. As with many top Australian financial institutions, it also has a strong focus on the Asia-Pacific region.

ANZ has a dual listing on both the ASX and NZX.

6. Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC)

Westpac is the oldest Australian bank, founded in New South Wales in 1817 as the Bank of New South Wales. Like the other banks listed here, it is one of the ‘big four’ Australia financial institutions.

Like NAB, Westpac operates a sizable operation in New Zealand, this time through its subsidiary Westpac New Zealand (WNZ). WNZ has over 1.5 million customers in the country.

WBC stock trades on both the ASX and New Zealand’s Exchange (NZX). It hit a record high of almost AU$40 in 2014 but has struggled since – with a stock price of AU$21 in May 2023. 

7. Woodside Energy (ASX:WDS)

Outside the world of finance, and landing at seventh place in the list of the biggest AU stocks, is Woodside Energy, a petroleum exploration and production company.

Woodside Energy has existed since the 1960s. In 2022, it completed a merger with BHP’s petrol division, with the newly merged company continuing to operate under WDS’s stock listing. With the merger, WDS launched new secondary listings on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

8. Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG)

Iron-ore miner Fortescue Metals is the eighth company on our list, with a market cap of AU$66 billion. Fortescue produced 204 million tonnes of iron ore in 2020, making it the fourth-biggest miner of the metal in the world: behind Vale, Rio Tinto and BHP.

FMG focuses its operations within the Pilbara state of Australia, where it has the largest holdings of any mining company. Its narrow product set means the company’s share price is often closely tied to the price of iron ore.

9. Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG)

Macquarie Group is a multinational financial services company and the ninth-largest company in Australia by market cap. It is the world’s biggest infrastructure asset manager and a key advisor on M&A activity in Australia.

MQG operates in several different business areas, including:

  • Asset management
  • Personal banking
  • Trading services
  • Forex
  • Capital and financing
  • IPOs

Like all the stocks listed here, it is a member of the ASX 200 (Australia 200) stock index.

10. Wesfarmers (ASX:WES)

Wesfarmers is an Australian conglomerate, and the tenth-biggest company in the country.

Wesfarmers operates across several divisions. It is best known as the owner of the retail chain Bunnings Warehouse, with over 200 stores across Australia and New Zealand. Bunnings drives most of the company’s revenue.

In addition, WES owns the Kmart and Officeworks chains plus Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy and Fertilisers (WesCEF) – which makes chemicals and fertilisers – and Wesfarmers Industrial and Safety, which provides safety equipment.

Trade the biggest Australian companies

With City Index, you can trade all the companies listed here via CFDs – enabling you to go long and short on their price movements. Follow these steps to get started:

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  3. Search for your chosen Australian blue chip
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Australia’s biggest companies by revenue

Market cap isn’t the only measure of a company’s size. Here are the top Australian companies by revenue, according to the 2022 Global Fortune 2000:



Revenue (AU$million)

BHP Group












Commonwealth Bank



As you can see, there are several shared companies across both lists – and BHP reigns supreme in terms of both market cap and revenue – but there are a couple of notable differences.

Woolworths (WOW)

Woolworths is the second-biggest company in Australia by revenue, but the eleventh by market cap. It runs the Woolworths chain of stores across Australia, and Countdown in New Zealand – the biggest supermarkets in each respective country.

It isn’t uncommon for supermarket companies to see massive revenue but lower overall value. In the UK, for example, Tesco is the biggest non-oil company by revenue but 31st by market cap. Much of that has to do with the relatively low profit margins that supermarkets operate on, especially in periods of high inflation.

Coles (COL)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, the third-biggest AU company by revenue is its second-biggest supermarket chain: Coles. With a market cap of AU$20 billion, it is the 21st-biggest company in terms of value.

Coles Group’s profit margins are even tighter than Woolworths’. Despite ranking third in terms of revenue, it is 19th by profit.

The biggest mining companies in Australia

By market cap, the three biggest Australian mining companies are:


As we cover above, BHP is the biggest mining company in the world and the biggest AU company by some distance in terms of market cap, revenue and profit.

2. Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG)

The iron-ore miner is the second-biggest mining company in Australia. It is also the second-biggest company in the country by profit, according to the Forbes 2000.

3. Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM)

Gold miner Newcrest is the third biggest mining company in Australia, and the 19th most valuable company in the country.

The biggest insurance companies in Australia

By market cap, the three biggest AU insurance companies are:

1. QBE Insurance (ASX:QBE)

With a market capitalisation of AU$23 billion, QBE insurance is the biggest insurer in Australia. It is one of the top 20 insurance companies globally.

2. Suncorp (ASX:SUN)

Suncorp is the second-biggest AU insurer, with a total value of AU$17 billion.

3. Insurance Australia Group (ASX:IAG)

Insurance Australia Group, or IAG for short, is the third biggest insurer in the country. It has a total market cap of AU$14 billion.


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