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Nvidia single-handedly surpasses Europe’s biggest stock markets



It’s not every day that a startup rallies to stratospheric heights to become the world’s most valuable company and a leading player in the competitive AI chips industry. That’s Nvidia for you. 

But it doesn’t end there—the tale of Nvidia’s success is still developing, as it single-handedly eclipses all of Europe’s stock markets in market capitalization. 

As of earlier this week, Nvidia became the world’s most valuable company, thanks to an aggressive rally in its stock that has swayed all of Wall Street.

With a $3.2 trillion market cap now, Deutsche Bank in a note on Thursday found that Nvidia is now bigger than the value of all the listed stocks in Europe’s major business hubs—Germany, France and the U.K. At the time the note was published, Nvidia’s market cap was $3.35 trillion. 

It didn’t always look like this. A decade ago, the London Stock Exchange (LSE) had a significant lead, with its listed stocks collectively worth 400 times Nvidia’s value. But in the last week, Nvidia left LSE in the dust. 

At its sky-high valuation, the only markets whose listed shares are collectively larger than Nvidia are the U.S., India, China and Japan, Deutsche Bank said. 

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang.

I-HWA CHENG—AFP/Getty Images

The California-based company’s growth has been ramping up for a while now. It’s also rare for companies to see such rapid growth, even in the tech universe. Apple was the first trillion-dollar company back in 2018, eventually hitting the $3 trillion mark last year. The AI frenzy helped Microsoft beat Apple to become the most valuable company in January before Nvidia grabbed the crown from the Redmond, Wash.-based company. 

Nvidia’s GPUs, or graphic processing units, have waltzed with the recent surge in AI demand. Meanwhile, the speed and performance of its chips and the suite of tech solutions Nvidia offers have progressed, too. Investors have paid attention to the company’s strengths, doubling the stock’s value since January that resulted in a 10-for-1 stock split earlier in June. 

London’s got game

It’s hard to compare a company with such supersized growth to just about anything else in the world—let alone the LSE. Nvidia’s growth trajectory, which is still accelerating, has been startling given the U.S. is still navigating relatively high interest rates. 

Still, LSE has recently had big wins. It just beat Paris to become Europe’s largest stock exchange amid political turmoil in France while also welcoming the strong IPO of computer maker Raspberry Pi. 

Those achievements have paled in comparison to London’s relative weakness in attracting top company listings and growing its value. Even today, the dominant players in its stock market belong to traditional industries such as energy, mining, and financials, with only a handful of tech players.

What LSE is seeing now isn’t a product of its lack of ambition, the exchange’s chief Julia Hoggett argued. It’s still undoubtedly a critical financial hub—just in need of revamping. 

“The U.K. does not invest in itself as much as it could, or should,” Hoggett said in an op-ed for The Times of London on Thursday, adding that the markets were undergoing “the largest reform in decades.” 

The overhaul, which could kick in as early as this year, include changes to the listing rules and more participation of the Brits in stock market investments through their pension schemes.  

The LSE chief previously commented on the U.K.’s stock market as “punching above its weight.”

“When you strip them out and look at the actual companies of similar sizes in the U.S. to the sort of company size that we have in the U.K. They haven’t really been out-performing,” she told the BBC last month.

The example of Nvidia highlights how a big growth story in the U.S. can still give London a run for its money. What London—and other European financial hubs—do to stay in the game remains a question.  

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