Statista : Infographics Bulletin July 7, 2022

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Even tough debt is generally seen as something to be avoided, a certain amount of corporate debt is deemed necessary for progress and innovation. In our first feature, we look at the companies borrowing the most in 2021/2022. Our second chart offers a glance of the development of school education in sub-Saharan Africa.

Florian Zandt
Data Journalist

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Coming out on top are automotive companies Toyota and Volkswagen with a net debt of $186 billion and $185 billion, respectively. Competitor Mercedes-Benz had $109 billion of outstanding debts on its balance sheet this past year, while the rest of the top 8 is made up of telecommunication and utility providers like AT&T, Deutsche Telekom and √Čletricit√© de France. Although these numbers may seem high at first glance, high net debt isn't necessarily a cause for worry, since taking out loans is seen as necessary for research, innovation and staying competitive. Nevertheless, it can be an indicator of a company's financial health, especially when compared with competitors from the same sector, and shouldn't overshoot a certain equity-net-debt-ratio.
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Participation in education is still an issue with room for improvement in sub-Saharan Africa, regardless of gender. But for girls as recently as 2000, the problem was even more acute. At the primary level, just 44 percent of girls were completing their education 22 years ago. In 2020, that figure had risen to 66 percent, and has even overtaken the rate for boys (despite healthy gains, too).
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