Unlike many other areas, Europe doesn’t have any stock exchanges that cover the entire region. Instead, European companies can be traded on several regional exchanges: the London Stock Exchange, Euronext, and the Six Swiss Exchange, among others. This can sometimes make it difficult to compare businesses from different locations. We’ve provided an overview for a few of Europe’s top stocks by market cap to give some background on the largest public companies in the region.
Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDSA-L) is an Oil and gas exploration company located in the Netherlands that looks for resources both in conventional fields and in tight rock, shale and coal formations. Its main segments connect to Integrated Gas, Upstream, Downstream and Renewables and Energy Solutions (formerly New Energies). The Integrated Gas segment liquefies and transports gas, changes natural gas into other liquids that provide fuels and other products, and oversees projects with an integrated activity, such as producing or marketing gas. The Upstream segment explores for and extracts crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids, markets and transports oil and gas, and includes the Oil Sands, which extracts bitumen from mined oil sands and converts it into synthetic crude oil. The Downstream segment manufactures oil products and chemicals and engages in marketing activities.
ING Groep N.V. (INGA.AS) is a financial institution that provides banking services. The Company's segments include Retail Netherlands, Retail Belgium, Retail Germany and Retail Other. Each division is mainly responsible for savings accounts, business lending, mortgages and other consumer lending services in the designated areas. The Company's Retail Banking business lines provide products and services to individuals, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-corporates. Additionally, the Wholesale Banking segment offers wholesale banking services (a full range of products from cash management to corporate finance), real estate and leasing. In Australia, the company’s banking operations are provided by ING Bank (Australia) Limited (trading as ING Direct) and ING Bank NV Sydney Branch.
Nestle S.A. (NESN.VX) offers products in the nutrition, health and wellness spheres. The company's segments include Zone Europe, Middle East and North Africa (EMENA); Zone Americas (AMS); Zone Asia, Oceania and sub-Saharan Africa (AOA); Nestle Waters; Nestle Nutrition, and Other Businesses. The company operates internationally in approximately 190 countries worldwide and has product categories that include both powered and liquid beverages; water; milk products and ice cream; nutrition and health science; prepared dishes and cooking aids; confectionery, and PetCare. Other business activities in which the company participates include the operations of Nestle Professional, Nespresso, Nestle Health Science and Nestle Skin Health.
BP p.l.c. (BP-L) is a part of the global energy business and operates throughout the world. The company offers customers fuel for transport, energy for heat and light, power for industry, and several petrochemicals products used in the processes that make everyday items such as paints, clothes and packaging. Some of BP’s segments include Upstream, Downstream, Rosneft, as well as Other businesses and corporate. Activities in oil and natural gas exploration, field development and production are carried out by the Upstream segment. The Downstream segment includes global marketing and manufacturing operations and the fuels, lubricants, and petrochemicals business of the Company. Rosneft is the Company's Russian refining business with approximately 13 refineries in Russia, and that owns stakes in three refineries in Germany, one in India and one in Belarus.
HSBC Holdings plc (HSBA-L) is a banking and financial services company that manages products and services through three segments: Wealth and Personal Banking (WPB), Commercial Banking (CMB), and Global Banking and Markets (GBM). It operates in various regions of the world, including Europe, Asia, Middle East and North Africa, North America, and Latin America. The WPB segment provides Retail Banking, Wealth Management, Asset Management and Insurance. CMB serves the banking needs of commercial customers, including small and medium-sized enterprises, mid-market enterprises and corporations. Some of its products include credit and lending, international trade and receivables finance, treasury management and liquidity solutions, commercial insurance and investments. GBM works with many government, corporate and institutional clients, and private investors across the world.
Founded in 1879, Linde plc (LIN) operates as an industrial gas and engineering company with facilities located around the world. It offers a variety of gas products and services to several end markets, including chemicals & refining, food & beverage, electronics, healthcare, manufacturing and primary metals. The engineering division specializes in separating and purifying gases, liquefying gases, thermal processes, and plant components and turbo machinery.
European stocks reflect the wide variety of businesses and industries that operate throughout the region. This list includes just a few of the large corporations by market capitalisation that can help you become more familiar with stock of companies from various areas.