The corporate world has a new king of cash. The title for the company with the biggest financial reserves, held by Apple for a decade, has passed to Google’s parent, Alphabet, according to figures released in recent days.
The switch in leadership follows a concerted effort by the iPhone maker to reduce its liquid reserves, six years after it first came under pressure from activist investor Carl Icahn to pay out more of its cash hoard. Apple’s holdings of cash and marketable securities, net of debt, has fallen to $102bn, down from a peak of $163bn at the end of 2017.
Alphabet’s financial reserves have been moving in the opposite direction. At $117bn, its cash pile has risen by almost $20bn over the same period.