Here’s what the 5 biggest companies on the ASX 200 today were worth in 2000

How have the ASX 200’s largest shares changed over the past 22 years?

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The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has always been dominated by large Australian companies that most of us would have at least heard of. Since the ASX 200 is an index that is weighted using market capitalisation, its top shares are also the largest companies.

But let’s take a look at how the ASX 200’s current top dogs were faring at the turn of the millennium. 2000 is starting to feel like a long time ago, so it will be interesting to see how the ASX 200’s top shares were looking back then.

So let’s start with the current top five shares of the ASX 200 Index.

They are as follows:

  1. BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP)
  2. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA)
  3. CSL Limited (ASX: CSL)
  4. National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB)
  5. Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC)

So some familiar household names there. Perhaps amazingly (or not), all five of these companies were also listed back in 2000. There are no Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ: FB) or Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG)(NASDAQ: GOOGL)-style players that have come from nothing to claim a top spot here.

Does the ASX 200 song remain the same?

So let’s start with BHP. This ming giant has been around longer than Australia has been a country. But back in April 2000, the ‘Big Australian’ was going for just over $7.40 a share. That’s a far cry (and a lot of dividends) away from the current share price of $46 that we see today. BHP has also spun-off South32 Ltd (ASX: S32) since then as well, so add the value of those shares to the pile.

CBA is another ASX stalwart. In saying that, the banking giant actually used to be a government-owned company, so it doesn’t have the same corporate bona fides as BHP. But CBA shares were on the ASX by 2000. April of that year saw Commonwealth Bank shares command a share price of $23.70. Interestingly, CBA got close to those levels again during the global financial crisis in 2008, but hasn’t looked back since. Today, the bank is well over $100 a share and is going for $102.94 at the time of writing.

CSL is another ASX 200 share that used to be a government-owned entity. In this case, CSL comes from ‘Commonwealth Serum Laboratories’. But CSL has been a public company for decades now and was indeed well-established on the ASX back in 2000. However, this is the company that has without question experienced the most dramatic ramp up in value over the past 22 years. Back in April 200, you could buy one CSL share for just $6.70. Today, those same shares are currently worth $266.47 each.

What about NAB and Westpac?

Our last two shares to check out are two more members of the famous big four in NAB and Westpac. These two companies might surprise with their performance. In NAB’s case, we saw a share price of $22.47 in April 2000, not too far off of the $32 levels we see today. You only have to go back to December 2020 to find a time where you could get NAB shares at a similar pricing point.

In Westpac’s case, we have a bit of a starker contrast. April 2000 saw this ASX 200 bank at a price of $10.63. Since the bank is asking $23.48 at the time of writing, there has been some more appreciation here.

So that’s how these five ASX 200 stalwarts were looking 22 years ago. Some have given more lucrative returns than others, to be sure. So who knows where they’ll all be in another 22 years. Check back in with the Fool in 2044 to find out!

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen owns National Australia Bank Limited. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns and has recommended CSL Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Westpac Banking Corporation. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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