Always Follow the Money

Geopolitical instability has left many global corporations jittery.

But the world’s biggest arms producers are doing well, with shares of the top 12 publicly listed firms – based on a list by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute – rising by almost 30 per cent on average in the last year.

Stock price data on the 12 companies reveal most have benefitted in a year in which the number of conflict zones in Europe, the Middle East and Africa has risen.

Hellfire missile maker Lockheed-Martin has been among the defence companies to experience share price gains.

While some companies have under-performed during the period, many have risen by more than 50 per cent.

The average share rise of 30 per cent compares to a 9.3 per cent gain by the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

The top 12 listed arms producers include companies such as Boeing, which makes commercial aircraft as well as defence and missile systems. It does not include Chinese companies.

Nine out of the top 12 companies are based in the United States.

The remaining three – Thales, Finmeccanica and BAE Systems – are based in France, Italy and the UK respectively.

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