MTN has won the race to build SA’s most valuable brand once again, after the telecom giant’s brand value roared 8% from last year to R44.2bn, according to international brand consultancy Brand Finance.

The figure means MTN’s brand value represents more than 10% of the combined value of SA’s top 50 brands this year, which also logged an 8% increase to come in at R426bn.

"MTN is SA’s most valuable brand because of [its] industry leadership, domestically and further afield," Brand Finance CEO David Haigh said in the consultancy’s report, issued on Monday.

Trailing MTN in second place was rival Vodacom, whose brand value rose 13.5% to R27.5bn.

But among the top 10 brand-value players it was FNB that really shone, jumping from seventh to third position on the back of a 22% rise in brand value to R19.4bn. FNB outdid Standard Bank, which limped in with its brand value down 11% at R18.5bn. Standard Bank dropped from third spot to fifth.

Among banks Absa also did well to move from sixth to fourth position on the back of a 3% rise in brand value to R18.9bn.

Capitec, whose brand value soared 35% to R6.8bn, did not make the top 10 though it seems only a matter of time before it does. Pointing in that direction, Capitec was rated by Brand Finance as SA’s "strongest" brand based on criteria such as marketing investment, familiarity, client loyalty, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation.

In this category Capitec, which added 1.2m new clients in the past year, beat last year’s strongest brand, FNB.