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3 Things You Should Know About DBS

800px-DBSBank_DesVoeuxRoadBranch_HongKongIf you’ve ever searched for a bank ATM (Automated Teller Machine) in Singapore, you can’t fail to have noticed that the most prevalent are those of DBS (SGX: D05) and its sister bank, POSB. They’re everywhere!

Founded in 1968 by the Singapore government and previously known as the Development Bank of Singapore Ltd, DBS Group Holdings Ltd provides corporate, consumer and wholesale banking services to customers in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.

It acquired POSB in 1998, giving it a dominant market share with over 4m retail customers – and together, they do indeed operate the highest number of ATM machines in Singapore.

DBS is now the largest bank in South East Asia by assets, and amongst the largest banks in Asia, with market-dominant positions in consumer banking, treasury and markets, asset management, securities brokerage, equity and debt fund-raising in Singapore and Hong Kong.

But did you know…

  1. POSB (previously known as the Post Office Savings Bank) was established in 1877 in the General Post Office (now the Fullerton Hotel) with an aim to offer low cost banking to Singaporeans. DBS still attempts to upkeep this tradition by keeping basic banking charges low and making children, full-time students (aged under 21) and full-time servicemen exempt from bank charges.
  2. DBS holds credit ratings of AA- and Aa1, and has been named the safest bank in Asia by Global Finance for the past 5 years, and takes position 12 in its 2013 World’s 50 Safest Banks List. Singapore’s Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) (SGX: 039) and United Overseas Bank (UOB) (SGX: U11) follow closely at positions 13 and 14.
  3. DBS’s largest shareholder is Temasek Holdings (the government’s investment arm) with 29.24% of its shares.

DBS has certainly been making a lot of people smile recently – its first quarter results revealed it made a record profit of S$950m in the first three months of the year. And as a steady dividend payer for the past four years (shares currently yield 3.5%) it has been giving its shareholders a healthy return, too.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Alison Hunt doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.