Brand Finance Middle East 50 2020 report: Upto $1tn loss worldwide for brand value as direct impact of Covid-19 outbreak

Published: 1 April 2020 - 3 a.m.
By: Martin Menachery
The world’s biggest companies are set to lose up to $1tn in brand value as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, with the aviation sector being the most affected, according to the latest analysis by Brand Finance.

Brand Finance has assessed the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak based on the effect of the outbreak on enterprise value, as at 18 March 2020, compared to what it was on 1 January 2020. Based on this impact on enterprise value, Brand Finance estimated the likely impact on brand value for each sector. Each sector has been classified into three categories based on the severity of enterprise value loss observed for the sector in the period between 1 January 2020 and 18 March 2020.
David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, commented: "The Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on global markets is very real. Worldwide, brands across every sector are braced for the coronavirus to massively affect their business activities, supply chain and revenues in a way that eclipses the 2003 SARS outbreak.”
"Now is the ideal moment for Middle Eastern brands to remain ever present in their stakeholders’ minds, engage across digital channels, show resilience and adaptability in these unprecedented times.”
Brand Finance released the Middle East 50 report on the region’s top 50 most valuable and strongest brands, of which 20 are Saudi Arabian brands, 17 from the UAE, and four from Kuwait.

Since its IPO last year, oil and gas giant Saudi Aramco is a new entrant at the top of the table with a brand value of $46.8bn, claiming the title of the Middle East’s most valuable brand. Saudi Aramco is focused on leveraging its strength in upstream, while growing its downstream operations through acquisitions, both in Saudi Arabia and key global markets. In order to clinch the title of the world’s most valuable oil and gas brand from rival Shell, Saudi Aramco must now focus on developing international perceptions of the brand in order to open it up further for partnerships and investment.
Haigh said: “The harsh reality is that many Middle Eastern brands are not going to make their 2020 targets due to the unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus outbreak. Having a strong brand is more crucial now than ever, as this might be which will truly help to weather the storm and bounce back from this crisis.
ADNOC is the Middle East’s second most valuable brand, up 29% to $11.4bn. The brand is also the first UAE brand to achieve a brand valuation of more than $11bn, a testament to the success of the group’s ongoing transformation strategy. Since 1971, ADNOC has created thousands of jobs, driven the growth of a diverse knowledge-based economy, and played a key role in Abu Dhabi’s global emergence. ADNOC continues to look for new and innovative ways to maximise the value of its resources, pioneering those approaches and technologies that will ensure it is able to meet the demands of an ever-changing energy market, especially now amidst the steep slide in oil prices.

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