10 December 2018

HSBC Singapore marks foray into ASEAN commercial real estate with Senior Appointment

HSBC Singapore today announced the appointment of Gary Tan to the Head of ASEAN Commercial Real Estate (CRE), a newly created role. Mr Tan, previously Country Head of CRE with HSBC Singapore’s Commercial Banking business, will take on the role with immediate effect.

The extension of the role to encompass ASEAN marks HSBC’s drive to increase its market share in the commercial real estate sector throughout the region, and reaffirms the Bank’s strategic priority of driving its ASEAN banking coverage from Singapore.

Mr Tan joined HSBC in 2005, and has been part of the HSBC’s Singapore’s CRE team since 2014 before being promoted to Country Head in 2014.

In his new role, Mr Tan will be responsible for providing sector coverage for cross-border CRE transactions, increasing intra-country collaboration within HSBC and driving client acquisition and transaction structuring in Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia where HSBC is building CRE capabilities.

The expanded role reflects the urbanisation of South-east Asia and Singapore’s corresponding role as the financing hub for regional CRE activity, in addition to the increasing importance of sustainable financing within the real estate sector.

The region is at a tipping point of urbanisation and wealth. The development of Smart Cities across South-East Asia comes in response to increased urbanisation which is placing significant strains on cities’ infrastructure. Currently, 49% of ASEAN’s 650 million people live in cities1, and this figure is expected to grow by about 100 million people between 2015 and 20302. This creates significant need for commercial real estate renewal and development.

Globally, Singapore is the fourth largest cross-border investor in real estate, with total outbound capital of US$27.7 billion4. Investments remain concentrated in the Asia Pacific region, which accounts for more than 40% of outbound investment exposure4. The Republic is also the largest source of cross-border capital accounting for 39% of acquisitions (by capital flow) into Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand5.

Sustainable financing is moving up the agenda of property developers in Asia, with Singapore seeing some of the region’s largest transactions in recent months, utilising international sustainable financing standards6.

Gary’s in-depth knowledge of the CRE sector has contributed to HSBC onboarding, up-tiering and covering some of the most active property groups in Singapore. The appointment is further demonstration of the Bank’s desire to leverage the skills of our Singapore team for the benefit of the region, not only in the pure-play CRE space but also as we seek to help our clients in ASEAN keep-pace with increasing sustainability demands. The position that Singapore plays within South-east Asia makes HSBC Singapore a priority market for HSBC globally, and a key part of the bank’s Pivot to Asia strategy.

Commenting on the appointment, Alan Turner, Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC Singapore

Rapid urbanisation, coupled with a move towards sustainable practices, means that ASEAN real estate has become one of the region's most promising investments. Real estate lies at the heart of the region’s development, transforming lives and economies. If ASEAN countries are truly determined to transform their Smart Cities, then these country programmes need to be linked with best practice and successes shared. Connectivity across the region is vital.

Commenting on the CRE opportunity in ASEAN, Mr Turner

The appointment is part of HSBC Singapore’s country strategic plan, announced in March 2018, which seeks to support corporate clients take advantage of the opportunities flowing from ASEAN’s macro-economic growth. In line with the strategic plan, HSBC has invested heavily in its Commercial Banking business and ASEAN strategy in 2018, both in technology and headcount7. Correspondingly, HSBC’s Commercial Banking business in Singapore has seen a 20% increase in headcount and increased ASEAN banking coverage in the last year.


1ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Statistical Leaflet, Selected Key Indicators, 2017
2United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs: World Urbanization Prospects: The 2014 Revision
3The Business Times, Outbound real estate capital slightly lower than Last Year: C&W, 6 November 2018
4Cushman & Wakefield, Singapore Outbound Real Estate Investment Hit Record High in 2017
5Real Capital Analytics: Trends Trade Report 20181207
6The Business Times, Asian property developers delving deeper into green loans, 24 September 2018
7HSBC Singapore News Release: New Branch marks next phase of HSBC’s investment in Singapore


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