Friday, August 19, 2011, 09:47 am PT (12:47 pm ET)
Apple now worth as much as all euro zone banks combinedWith a sharp selloff pummeling share prices throughout European banking sector this week, Apple's valuation is now strikingly equal to all 32 of the biggest euro zone banks combined.
That's the result of the DJ STOXX euro zone banks index bleeding a third of its value since the start of July, driven by sharp declines in the share price of big banks such as Spain's Santander, France's BNP Paribas, Germany's Deutsche Bank and Italy's Unicredit.
The index fell another 4 percent on Friday, dropping the combined value of its 32 members to $340 billion. That's precisely the market capitalization that Apple has soared to in recent months on the success of its iPhone and iPad devices.
For Apple, the accolade is just the latest in a growing string of financial related achievements. In addition to its back-and-forth battle with Exxon Mobile for the title of the most valuable company in the world, it was disclosed last month the the iPad maker's $76B in cash reserves recently surpassed the US government's own operating balance.
Back in June, it was also estimated that Apple's then war chest of $70 billion would have been enough to potential buy out rivals Nokia, Research in Motion, HTC and Motorola.
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