DBS named S'pore's most valuable brand

People walk past the DBS branch at Rochor Centre. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
People walk past the DBS branch at Rochor Centre. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

Bank holds on to position for second year running with brand value of $5b

DBS BANK has held on to its position as Singapore's most valuable brand after claiming the top spot a year ago.

The banking giant is now worth US$4.01 billion (S$5 billion), up US$535 million from last year, according to a report from London-based consultancy Brand Finance yesterday.

This makes the brand worth US$761 million more than Singapore Airlines, which was toppled from its position as the country's most valuable last year.

Singapore Press Holdings was in 12th place with a brand value of US$984 million, while its flagship newspaper The Straits Times was in 48th place at US$112 million.

The independent valuation consultancy ranks brands of Singapore-listed firms by their absolute dollar values, after examining the royalties the company would have had to pay to license its brand if it did not already own it.

Mr Samir Dixit told The Straits Times: "The airline business is visibly under stress now and in the next couple of years, that's why Singapore Airlines' brand value is not growing as much.

"DBS is a complete opposite picture because banking as a discipline has stabilised."

Ms Karen Ngui, head of group strategic marketing and communications at the bank, said its brand value had doubled from US$2.04 billion over the past three years.

Palm oil giant Wilmar maintained its position in third place at US$2.89 billion, but OCBC Bank recorded the biggest move among the top 10 players, up four places to fourth with an increase in brand value of US$614 million.

The total value of the 100 largest brands was US$40.2 billion, with the top 10 brands comprising 58 per cent at US$23.2 billion.

Brand Finance pointed out that the last 50 firms represented only 6 per cent of the total brand value - a similar picture to last year's findings.

"Unless something is done to continuously improve the brand investment and value growth at the lower end of the market, we will likely see this percentage decline further in the coming years," said Brand Finance in its report.

Mr Dixit noted that local businesses do not place as much emphasis on their brands compared with their counterparts in the United States and Europe.

"Most Singaporean companies are balance-sheet driven and look at it from a profit and loss perspective," he said. "If Singapore wants to become an intellectual property hub, this could be a U-turn."

ocheryl@sph.com.sg