DBS to dispose 46 HDB shops and retail units for S$210m

DBS has put on sale a collection of 46 HDB shops and shophouses as well as strata retail units.

The Business Times is aware that the units served as full service bank branches a few years ago. The space totals around 69.500 square foot (sq ft). The 46 units may be purchased separately. The sale of the 46 units began just a few short weeks ago.

These properties are situated in estates managed by the Housing and Development Board in areas such as Bishan Hougang Tanjong Pagar Jurong West Clementi Marine Parade Central and Bukit Batok. The 10 private strata units for retail are located at Thomson Plaza, Gleneagles Medical Centre and The Centrepoint Orchard Road.

DBS has said that it is selling 46 units located in 29 locations. The bank does not consider them strategic and their property management business is not the core of its business.

16 of the locations are being used by the Bank for 24/7 self service branches (without counter services), and ATMs. These 16 locations account for just under 10% of total space available for sale.

The spokesperson said that close to 90% of the space DBS is selling has either been leased or left vacant. Some of these spaces have been occupied for up to 20 years.

According to the latest information on the market, the HDB properties within the 46 units portfolio are leased for a period ranging from approximately 44 years up to 68.

Gleneagles Medical Centre & 6 Raffles Quay both have freehold ownership. Thomson Plaza is located on a property with an approximate 51-year balance leasehold tenure. The Centrepoint strata has an average balance tenure of 54 years.

The Continuum

DBS has reportedly hired CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield JLL, Knight Frank, and Triple One Properties for the sale of these apartments.

The unit with the most expensive guide price is a 5,145 ft2 space at 6, Raffles Quay. It’s slightly more than S$19.4million. Two units located on the second floor at Gleneagles Medical Centre are priced between S$10 and S$8.5 for 700 sq.ft.

DBS had 170 banks branches in 1998 after acquiring POSB. In recent years, this number has been reduced to approximately 70 branches.

The 70 branches are divided into full-service branches that offer counter-services, financial planning offices and self-service outlets open 24/7. A large number of them are staffed by digital ambassadors.

As of today, the group is also equipped with a network consisting of around 1,900 self-service ATMs (including POSBs) as well as POSB Cash-Points in various merchant outlets (including Giant Cold Storage and 7-Eleven), which compares to only 950 machines back in 1998.

Over the last 25 year, the branch system has been streamlined as a result of duplications in close proximity and declining footfall, with customers increasingly preferring to do their banking online or out-of-hours.

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