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LONDON: February 01, 2017. Google is now the world's most valuable brand after Apple falls to the No.2 spot in a report of the world's top 500 brands from consultants Brand Finance.

The company said Google's brand value rose by 24 percent last year to reach US$109.47 billion while Apple dropped 27 percent to US$107.14 billon.

Airline Top brands 2015In third place for the second consecutive year is Amazon at US$106.36 billion as Walmart retains its position at No.8 with a value of US$62.49 billion.

Brand Finance said it calculates the values of the brands in its league tables using the "Royalty Relief approach". This involves estimating the likely future sales that are attributable to a brand and calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for the use of the brand, i.e. what the owner would have to pay for the use of the brand - assuming it were not already owned.

Placed unchanged at No.48 is UPS with a brand value of US$22.12 billion – up 13 percent from 2015. FedEx rose from No.85 to take the No.73 spot as its value increased 31 percent to US$17.09 billion. Meanwhile DHL, part of the Deutsche Post DHL group, fell from No.122 to No.137 position in the top 500 list.

Leading ocean container carriers Maersk, CMA CGM and MSC are either overlooked as brands or didn't make the Brand Finance list.

For the last five years Emirates held the title as the world's most valuable airline brand. However the combination of lower oil prices, a strong US dollar and increased competition has led to a 21 percent drop in the airline's brand value to US$6.1 billion and a fall to No.264 from the No.167 position in 2015, according to Brand Finance's calculations.

The top three airline brands are now American, occupying No.142 in a jump from No.225 in the previous 12 months; Delta, up from No.213 to No.152; and United from being placed No.330 in 2015 to No.210 last year.

Southwest also saw its value rise as it placed No.267 from No.429 in 2015. British Airways finished last in Brand Finance's airline list - dropping 150 places from the preceding 12 months to No.468.

Other highlights from the report include: • China's bank brands are now worth more than those of the U.S. • ICBC is the world's most valuable banking brand. • AT&T has overtaken Verizon to become the world's most valuable telecoms brand. • Coca-Cola, Pepsi, McDonalds, KFC & Subway all see brand values fall, undermined by healthy eating trends. • Nokia's brand is back in the top 500, following takeover and rebrand of Alcatel and launch of the Nokia 6 phone.

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