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Italy has one of the world's largest economies in the world. Although the country has a rich history and cultural heritage, currently it is going through some tough economic times. Despite the current problems, as a developed country Italy is home to many world-class companies. In this article, let's take a quick look at some of the largest Italian companies. Before we get into that, here are a few facts about Italy:

  • Italy had a population of over 61.0 million in 2012.
  • Italy has the 11th largest economy in the world with a GDP of about $1.8 trillion (2012 data).
  • The northern part of the country is highly developed with many industrial companies, while the South is less developed, agriculture-based, and depends more on government subsidies.
  • Unemployment is high in southern Italy compared to the North.
  • The economy is composed of many small and medium-sized family-owned companies.
  • Italy is a member of the G-8 group of countries.
  • The country's major trade partners are Germany, Spain, U.K., France, China, and the U.S.

Source: CIA World Factbook.

In order to identify the largest Italian companies by sales, I referred to the Fortune 500 Global list. Nine companies from Italy appeared in the 2012 rankings. These companies are listed below with their global and country rank together with their total revenues:

Country Rank Company Global Rank City Revenue (in $ millions)
1 ENI 17 Rome 153,676
2 EXOR Group 45 Turin 117,297
3 Assicurazioni Generali 48 Trieste 112,628
4 Enel 52 Rome 110,560
5 UniCredit Group 164 Milan 57,213
6 Intesa Sanpaolo 193 Turin 49,472
7 Telecom Italia 244 Milan 42,070
8 Poste Italiane 361 Rome 30,164
9 Finmeccanica 443 Rome 24,849

The energy giant Eni Spa (E) is the largest Italian firm by revenues. Eni is the largest oil, natural gas, and electric utility in the country. The NYSE-listed company has a market cap over $77.0 billion and the ADR yields a dividend of 5.73% now. Enel SpA (OTCPK:ENLAY) is another electric utility. UniCredit Group and Intesa Sanpaolo (OTCPK:ISNPY) are two of the large banking groups. Currently, Telecom Italia (TI) has a 2.73% dividend yield.

Related ETF: iShares MSCI Italy Capped Index ETF (EWI).

Disclosure: Long EWI.

Source: The 9 Largest Italian Companies By Revenue 2012