In 2006, 17 of the world’s 50 most valuable companies were European. Today, the number stands at 7 according to this article in The Economist. Only Nestlé is a global leader in its sector.
There are main four reasons that Europe had lagged behind:
- Concentrated on old industries
- Focused on the emerging markets
- Companies in the rest of the world continued to consolidate
- European managers’ less aggressive attitude towards shareholder value
Of course, it is much more complicated than this, both from political and economic points of view, well worth a read if you have a few moments over the bank holiday.