Multilatinas Then and now.

Author:Becerra, Jorge
Position:OPINION
 
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BCG published its first multilatinas report in 2009. Then, we studied and identified those leader companies in the region that have operations in different countries and aspire to gain a prominent place in the world market. Almost 10 years later, following that path, we launched our "Why the Multilatinas Could Hold the Key to Latin America's Economic Future," in which we identified the top 100 multilatinas.

Although Latin America still generally underperforms other emerging markets, the picture is starting to improve. The composition of this year's list reflects some of the profound transformations that have occurred in the region's economies since our earlier study.

* A larger presence of consumer companies. The share of multilatinas specializing in consumer goods and services increased from 31% to 44%. On the other hand, the number of commodity companies fell from 12 to 7, largely owing to the downturn in commodity prices.

* Greater geographical diversity. Although companies from Brazil, Chile and Mexico still dominate the list in 2018, there are more companies from Argentina, Colombia and Peru than in 2009. Companies from Costa Rica, El Salvador and Panama also joined the list.

* Superior value creation. The average total shareholder return (TSR)--a broad measure of company stock performance--of the BCG multilatinas increased 12% per year from 2000 through 2016, far outpacing the 8% average TSR of emerging-market companies as a whole.

* Strong contribution to job creation. Employment at multilatinas expanded by 2.6% annually from 2013 through 2016, above the regional average of only 0.3% per year for the same period.

THE 2018 BCG MULTILATINAS

In order to determine which 100 companies should be included in our multilatinas 2018 list, at the Boston Consulting Group we began by analyzing more than 5,000 companies with operations in Latin America that have more than $1 billion in revenue, have grown faster than the regional average and operate beyond their national borders.

The multilatinas' 5.2% annual growth rate from 2008 through 2016 compares with a 1.8% rate for all Latin American companies with more than $1 billion in annual revenue.

For our 2018 list, we added two new types of multilatinas: financial ones and a group of dynamic technology companies that we call technolatinas, LatinAmerica-based companies in tech-related businesses that compete internationally and had more than $300 million in revenue in 2016.

As a group, multilatinas...

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