Rising inflation across the globe had investors searching for safety in real assets in the last year, and many real estate companies were beneficiaries. The Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate index gained 35% in 2021, outperforming the S&P 500 index’s 27% gain, and despite shedding 11% alongside the rest of the market in the first four months of 2022, most real estate firms (at least in the Western hemisphere) are still on solid footing.
Brookfield Asset Management surged to 83rd on Forbes’ Global 2000 list of the world’s largest public companies, up from No. 375 last year. The Canadian firm is at the top of the real estate list, though its $690 billion in assets also include renewable energy, infrastructure, private equity and credit investments and it took its flagship real estate subsidiary Brookfield Property Partners private in a $6.5 billion deal last July. Its venture arm even committed $250 million to Elon Musk’s Twitter acquisition. Brookfield’s stock gained 46% in 2021, but has receded 19% so far this year.
Led by billionaire CEO Bruce Flatt, Brookfield owns gems like London’s Canary Wharf and New York’s One Manhattan West skyscraper near Hudson Yards. Through its subsidiary Oaktree Capital Management, the Los Angeles-based distressed debt investment firm led by Howard Marks and Bruce Karsh which sold a majority stake to Brookfield for $4.9 billion in 2019, it’s also making inroads in China. Oaktree, which still operates independently from Brookfield, seized two of the Evergrande Group’s largest assets after the Chinese property developer defaulted on $1 billion in debt, according to the Financial Times.
Evergrande’s stock collapsed last year with the company burdened by $300 billion in debt, but the firm remained on this year’s Global 2000 at No. 463, down from 227th last year. Its $70 billion in revenue in the last 12 months and $368 billion in assets still rank in the top 150 among the globe’s publicly traded companies.
The Forbes Global 2000 assigns equal weights to 12-month sales, assets, profit and market value, using the most recent financial data available as of April 22. This year, 87 real estate companies made the list, including REITs, diversified asset managers, property developers and construction firms. Thirty-seven of these companies are based in China or Hong Kong, while 27 are American.
The top U.S. company on the list, ranked 389th, is Boston-based American Tower Corporation, a REIT which owns and operates 221,000 cell towers around the world with a market cap of more than $100 billion. Next is Prologis, a San Francisco-based REIT which owns 1 billion square feet of warehouse space. Its stock is up 25% since last May. Self-storage companies Public Storage and Extra Space Storage also had strong years and both moved up more than 100 spots on the list.
The largest European real estate company on the list is London-based Segro, which owns 103 million square feet of warehouses and industrial property valued at $26 billion in eight European countries.
Below are all 87 real estate companies on this year’s Global 2000.