Special Report

Famous Brands Americans Don't Know

11. Movistar
> Brand value: $17.1 billion
> Country: Spain
> National GDP: $1.5 trillion
> Industry: Telecom

Movistar is the mobile phone operation of Spain’s primary telecom company Telefónica S.A. Its parent company currently has nearly 314 million customers. Like other European nations that once had colonies in Latin America, Movistar does business in Argentina and Mexico. Movistar has business units that market wireless broadband; Internet TV, which includes the new Google TV product; software, which includes Microsoft Windows powered portable devices; and hardware devices, including Apple’s iPad.

Also Read: America’s Most Expensive Neighborhoods

10. RBC
> Brand value: $17.2 billion
> Country: Canada
> National GDP: $1.7 trillion
> Industry: Financial services

RBC, originally called the Royal Bank of Canada, has been in business since 1864. Forbes lists it as the largest company in the Canada. Like most extremely big financial services firms in the largest countries by GDP, RBC provides services ranging from consumer savings to underwriting for public companies. One of the major ways that RBC promotes its presence as a global firm is via a comparison with banks around the world as measured by market cap. Based on this measure, RBC statistics put it in 12th place globally, just behind Citigroup, and Bank of America. RBC, which has more than 80,000 employees, reports its financial results in Canadian dollars. In the quarter that ended July 31, RBC had record net income of $2.2 billion, up from $1.7 billion the year before.

9. ICICI Bank
> Brand value: $12.7 billion
> Country: India
> National GDP: $1.8 trillion
> Industry: Financial services

Other than the State Bank of India, ICICI is the largest financial services firm in the world’s second most populous country. It had consolidated total assets of more than $91 billion as of March 31. ICICI operates similar to the way J.P. Morgan or Citigroup do in the U.S. All have large consumer banking, business banking, investment bank, wealth management, and underwriting operations.  ICICI has driven part of its growth through joint ventures with companies based outside India. ICICI Prudential Life Insurance is a joint venture between ICICI Bank and U.K. insurance giant Prudential plc. ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company is a joint venture with Canada-based Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited.

8. Sberbank
> Brand value: $10.6 billion
> Country: Russia
> National GDP: $1.8 trillion
> Industry: Financial services

Sberbank was founded in 1841 in Russia. As of 2010, more than 60% of its shares were owned by The Central Bank of the Russian Federation (CBR), which makes the government the controlling shareholder. Sberbank serves virtually every corner of Russia through its network of roughly 19,000 branches. The firm is in the midst of a plan to transform itself into a company with state of the art technology, a much larger presence overseas, and what it calls a “client-oriented model to service individual and corporate clients.” This set of programs was approved in October 2008 and is scheduled to be completed in 2014.

7. Telecom Italia
> Brand value: $9.6 billion
> Country: Italy
> National GDP: $2.2 trillion
> Industry: Telecom

Telecom Italia traces its roots back to the original Italian national telephone service, which was created in the 1920s and 1930s. Today, the company’s two largest markets are its domestic one and its operations in Latin America. Like many national telecom providers similar to AT&T, Telecom Italia provides fixed line and mobile connections and has moved into the television and broadband markets. In Latin America, Telecom Italia operates in the two largest countries by population, Brazil and Argentina, and the region provides more than a third of the corporation’s revenue. Based on a Forbes analysis, Telecom Italia is the sixth largest company in Italy. In the first nine months of this year, it had revenue of more than 22 billion euros.

Also Read: America’s Oldest Brands

6. Vodafone
> Brand value: $43.0 billion
> Country: United Kingdom
> National GDP: $2.4 trillion
> Industry: Telecom

Vodafone Group Plc was founded in 1985 as a small mobile operator in Newbury, U.K. Since then, it has expanded well beyond its home market. One of its largest holdings is a 45% share in Verizon Wireless. Vodafone and co-owner Verizon Communications recently received a huge financial return on their ownership positions as Verizon Wireless issued an $8.5 billion dividend to the two partners. Vodafone reports that it has more than 407 million customers around the world in  more than 30 countries and ventures with networks in another 50. Its Asian operations include businesses in India, Malaysia, and The Philippines. In Europe, Vodafone has operations in Germany and Hungary. In its 2011 fiscal year, Vodafone had revenue of over 45.8 billion pounds.

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