DBS leapfrogs SIA to most valuable brand spot

DBS leapfrogs SIA to most valuable brand spot

Banking giant DBS has knocked Singapore Airlines (SIA) off its perch as the country's most valuable brand after five years at the top.

The DBS brand, ranked third last year, is now worth US$3.476 billion (S$4.4 billion), up US$1.16 billion from last year, according to a report on Wednesday from London-based consultancy Brand Finance.

That jump allowed it to leapfrog palm oil giant Wilmar, second last year, and topple SIA.

The airline's brand value dropped US$101 million to US$3.117 billion to leave it in second place, said the Top 100 Singapore Brands report.

Wilmar is now third with a brand value of US$2.741 billion, down US$464 million from last year.

"The significant gain of brand value by DBS has increased the gap between the top two brands which was near negligible in 2012," said Brand Finance in a statement.

"Singapore Airlines further runs the risk of losing their number two position to Wilmar next year unless some significant efforts are undertaken to grow the value of the brand."

United Overseas Bank took fourth place, with its brand value rising US$478 million to US$2.116 billion.

OCBC Bank's brand value increased US$353 million to US$1.719 billion, taking the lender to eighth spot.

Brand Finance said the growth in the bank rankings is in line with the general trend around the world, with financial brands rebounding after the 2008 crisis.

Value seems concentrated in the top few brands.

Brand Finance noted that the top 10 Singapore brands have been valued at a combined US$21.08 billion, while the other 90 brands featured in the league have a total combined value of US$40.24 billion.

"While there were small movements of rankings amongst the top 20 ranked brands, the fact that every one of the top 20 brands has moved up or down the ranking shows the stiff competition at the top," it added.

Some smaller brands grew, such as IT products provider Challenger, book retailer Popular, tyre and wheel supplier Stamford Tyres and consumer electronics firm TT International.

DBS' head of group strategic marketing and communications, Ms Karen Ngui, said in a statement that the significant growth in its brand value is a testament to the strides it has made, both in Singapore and around the region.

"In recent years, we have delivered strong earnings growth and are today the largest bank in South-east Asia and a leading Asian bank," she said.

jonkwok@sph.com.sg


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