The total market capitalisation of the world’s stock markets is now worth more than double it was 13 years ago. And a lot of that growth is coming from Asia’s so-called emerging markets.
The total value of the world’s stock markets has risen 133 percent since 2003. Current stock prices multiplied by the number of shares outstanding – that is, market capitalisation – for the whole world stands at US$65.6 trillion, compared to US$28.1 trillion thirteen years ago. The U.S. has – in absolute terms – accounted for much of that growth, though U.S. markets are up (only) 87 percent.
Other “developed” markets, like the U.K., France, Canada and Japan have seen their total market cap grow over the same period, though by a lot less than the world as a whole.
The United Kingdom, with the fifth-largest market cap today, is up only 36 percent since 2003. France (number 7) has risen 46 percent. Slow economic growth, EU sclerosis, and endless union and currency troubles have crippled European markets.
The real story here is China and, to a lesser degree, India.
China has come from nowhere to take second place in the world ranking (it’s also home to the world’s second-largest economy). From a total market cap of US$418 billion in 2003 (or US$200 billion less than Apple’s total market cap today), it has grown an incredible 1,479 percent to US$6.6 trillion.
In just 13 years, China has passed every country in Europe and Japan for total market cap. Today, China’s stock markets are worth more than those of France, Germany, and Switzerland – combined.
India has also been rocketing up the rankings. It’s still not in the same league as China as far as market size, but it’s gaining on the rest of the world. Since 2003, it’s total market cap has grown 639 percent – more than any other country in the top 10… except China.
European markets are losing their influence
This tremendous growth in market cap since 2003 also means that Asian markets now account for a much larger share of the world’s total stock market capitalisation.
The exception to this in Asia is Japan. Its share of global market cap has dropped more than 3 percentage points over the past 13 years. Japan has some major fundamental problems with its economy that will keep its market from growing much for years to come (and that may be spreading to the rest of the world).
Despite the increase in its total market capitalisation, the relative size of American stock markets has fallen sharply. Today the U.S. accounts for 36 percent of the world’s stock market capitalisation, compared to 45 percent in 2003. The decline of Europe’s markets has been even sharper.
And it’s been the opposite for China, which had 1.5 percent of the world’s market cap in 2003. But it now has 10.1 percent – that’s almost 10 times more in just 13 years. In 2003, even tiny Switzerland and sparsely populated Canada had larger stock markets than China.
And India is coming on strong. It’s now home to 2.6 percent of the world’s total stock market value. That’s up from just 0.8 percent 13 years ago. It’s now just behind Germany, France and Canada in the global rankings.
What this tells us
The centre of economic and market gravity has long been shifting east. Though western economies still pull the most weight, their relative size is shrinking. And this is most visible where investors vote with their feet (or, as it happens, with their clicking pointer fingers) every day: The stock market.
We’ll be talking a lot more about how to best invest in a growing Asia in coming weeks… stay tuned.