6 of 20
HSBC Holdings
Rank: 20
Profits ($millions): $19,133
Change from 2006: 21.2%
Ticker: HBC

Net income was up 21% to $19.1 billion in 2007, led by strong growth in emerging markets, which sent Europe's biggest bank up five places from last year on Fortune's global most profitable list.

Profits were split 60:40 between the emerging and developed markets, with earnings from China adding more than $1 billion to the firm's bottom line for the first time.

A turnaround in the faltering Latin America business generated profits before taxes in excess of $2 billion.

NEXT: Chevron
Last updated July 09 2008: 8:24 AM ET
Top 25 Once again, Wal-Mart grabs the No. 1 spot. See which other companies are the largest on the planet. (more)
20 money losers Even giants like General Motors and Merrill Lynch had a rough time in 2007. Here are 20 companies that finished the year in the red. (more)
Which industries rule? The banking industry saw the biggest sales increase, while the airline business saw the biggest jump in profits, with earnings surging 118%. (more)