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Exxon is the world's biggest firm again

ENERGY giant Exxon Mobil has snatched back its crown as the world&rsquo;s most valuable company after overtaking rival PetroChina, according to the latest Bloomberg data.<br /><br />Exxon&rsquo;s market capitalisation rose to $330bn (&pound;207.4bn) in the period between 2 September and yesterday, the group said, as PetroChina&rsquo;s has dropped by 2.2 per cent to $325bn.<br /><br />PetroChina has slipped back after Chinese energy price controls have fallen behind those on global markets, sending profit margins tumbling at the group.<br /><br />Texas oil giant Exxon had given up the top spot to PetroChina on 25 May, after a giant stimulus plan in China boosted stock prices in the communist state.<br /><br />While oil prices in New York have risen 60 per cent this year, China has only allowed petrol stations to raise their prices this year by around 19 per cent, Bloomberg said. PetroChina&rsquo;s 14 per cent return on capital invested is less than half of Exxon&rsquo;s 36 per cent, the highest of the world&rsquo;s major oil firms, Bloomberg said.<br /><br />Exxon&rsquo;s annual sales are over twice those of PetroChina &ndash; they came to $425bn last year, which is $60.45 for every man, woman and child on the planet.<br /><br />More general falls on Chinese stockmarkets have also contributed to the falls in the value of PetroChina.<br /><br />The Shanghai Composite share index, which rose by 87 per cent in the year to July, has dived by 19 per cent since then amid fears the nation&rsquo;s economic recovery may be unsustainable, Bloomberg added.