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DBS Bank to move headquarters to Marina Bay Financial Centre

AFTER months of speculation, DBS Bank has finally announced that it will move its headquarters from Shenton Way to Singapore’s next financial hot spot – the Marina Bay Financial Centre.

DBS will take 700,000 sq ft of office space spread across 22 storeys, the largest lease deal ever in the Republic after the 508,298 sq ft of office space also at the Marina Bay Financial Centre leased to Standard Chartered Bank.

By moving to Marina Bay, DBS joins French corporate and investment bank Natixis, Swiss private bank Pictet and other financial heavyweights that will park themselves within the new development being built at the edge of the Central Business District facing the sea.

Outgoing DBS chief executive Jackson Tai said at a press conference that the 12-year lease would start in 2012.

‘In the 1970s, the DBS Building at Shenton Way was the tallest in Singapore. Today, with the signing of this lease, we are pleased to anchor the new financial business district at Marina Bay,’ Mr Tai said.

The new DBS headquarters will allow the bank to consolidate its various customer-facing units, trading operations, treasury and capital markets business in one building.

The bank’s key support functions and ‘various units’, meanwhile, will relocate to a nine-storey building at Changi Business Park, near the Expo MRT station in 2010.

Goldman Sachs, which owns the development that now houses DBS’ two office towers, is seeking buyers for the property, according to The Business Times, citing unnamed sources. The US investment bank bought DBS’ offices two years ago.

The financial centre, according to Jones Lang LaSalle Asia Pacific head of investments Lui Seng Fatt, used to be the area surrounding OCBC Building, UOB Plaza and OUB Centre.

DBS’ move to the ‘new downtown’, with attractions such as Las Vegas Sands’ upcoming casino-resort, merely highlights the fact that the business hub is moving down south.

‘I do not pre-empt after this round. We see a lot of those buildings that will start upgrading themselves, including some of the older buildings such as OUB Centre,’ Mr Lui said.

Marina Bay Financial Centre general manager David Martin said DBS’ move cemented Marina Bay Financial Centre’s reputation and would significantly add to the centre of banking and financial excellence and vibrant urban setting his group was creating at Marina Bay.


Source: The Straits Times 13 Dec 07

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