Volkswagen and 9 Other Most Indebted Companies on Earth

In a study of 900 largest companies in the world, Volkswagen, a German company, is cited to be the most indebted company, with the total debt exceeding the debt of all South Africa. Volkswagen’s debt is currently at 192 billion dollars which is more than the debt of South Africa ($180.1 billion) or Hungary ($101.9 billion). Based on the report, a large part of Volkswagen’s debt is linked to its large finance department. 

Volkswagen is not the only car manufacturer with huge debts. Another German manufacturer, Daimler, is in an equally high third place with $151 billion in debt. Toyota follows the list with $138 billion in debt, Ford with $122 billion, and BMW with $114 billion. 

Here are the ten most indebted companies in the world:

Name of Company  Debt in 2019
Volkswagen  $192 billion
AT&T (telecommunications) $176 billion
Daimler $151 billion
Toyota $138 billion
SoftBank Group $135 billion
Verizon Communications  $129 billion
Ford Motor Company  $122 billion
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) $114 billion
Comcast Corporation (communication) $104 billion
Anheuser-Busch (brewery)  $96 billion 


Of the 10 most indebted companies in the world, five are car manufacturers. 

In comparison, there are many large companies that are not only debt free, but also have huge cash reserves. The leader in this category is Alphabet with $104 billion in its account. It beats giant companies such as Samsung ($78 billion), Microsoft ($47 billion) and Facebook ($44 billion). 

The study also points out that the least indebted companies in the world are located in Asia Pacific and Japan, while American and British vehicle companies are among the most indebted. The study noted that in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, global corporate debt increased by about 12 percent – and today it amounts to $9.2 trillion. 

Seth Meyer, portfolio manager at Janus Henderson, commented that COVID has changed everything, including the way companies should navigate their business. Hence, now is the most probable time to converse capital and build a fortified balance sheet, he added. 

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