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DBS SME Banking sets up new retail F&B coverage team

TO cater to the financial needs of Singapore-based retail food and beverage (F&B) and food manufacturing companies expanding overseas, DBS said on Sunday that it has established a dedicated F&B coverage team to better serve these customers.

In the last 18 months, the bank saw four in 10 of its F&B SME customers expand overseas, with top expansion markets being tier-two cities in markets such as China, Indonesia and Taiwan.

This is a two-fold increase over the last five years and a trend is in place, DBS said.

The bank's new SME Banking coverage team comprises 15 relationship managers and credit specialists who have close to 200 years of banking experience between them. The team is supported by two senior sector specialists from the bank's group research team.

Customers will be able to tap the bank's expertise in financial structures, cash management and foreign exchange solutions to help better manage their cash flow. They can also get help in understanding rental, manpower and taxation in the markets they seek to expand into.

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Select Group, which has a stable of brands including Peach Garden and Hong Kong Sheng Kee Dessert, recently partnered DBS to expand into Jakarta.

Vincent Tan, chief executive of Select Group, said: "For F&B companies based in Singapore, sometimes, the only way to grow our business is to explore new markets overseas which are growing faster than Singapore.

"Our regional markets are dynamic and also benefit from fast-growing urban populations which lead to greater purchasing power and easy access to labour."

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