DBS has not only defended its top spot as the most valuable brand in Singapore this year, it has also extended its lead over Singapore Airlines, according to Brand Finance Asia Pacific's report released yesterday.

Unveiling its seventh annual Top 100 Singapore Brands league table, the brand consultancy firm said that DBS now has a brand value lead of US$761 million over its closest rival - last year, this figure stood at US$359 million.

Said Samir Dixit, managing director of Brand Finance Asia Pacific: "The fact that DBS has generated a significant lead over Singapore Airlines in a very short period of time clearly communicates the importance and significance of a strong brand for DBS.

"They will likely stay at the No 1 position for a few years unless there is a game-changing strategy amongst some of the other top five brands."

Apart from DBS, these are Singapore Airlines, Wilmar, OCBC and UOB.

Singapore's largest bank also had the second- highest brand value growth over last year at US$535 million - a rise of nearly 50 per cent over last year's showing.

While it accounted for more than 30 per cent of the total brand value increase of US$1.71 billion in 2014, other top growers included OCBC (US$614 million) and Keppel (US$316 million).

The consultancy's annual report pits the best Singapore brands against one another according to their brand value.

Mr Dixit said the consultancy firm uses "quantitative market data, detailed financial information, and expert judgment to provide reliable brand ratings and values".

Not every brand has continued to do well this year, though. Brand Finance - which is headquartered in London - noted that integrated resort operator Genting Singapore continued to fall in brand value, and is now out of the list of the top 10 brands here.

At the same time, there were eight new entrants to the Top 100 rankings this year, compared with only two new companies in 2013.

These included Valuemax and MoneyMax, which grew on the back of strong growth in the pawn industry. Both recently-listed companies entered at 71st and 79th place, respectively.

Apart from calculating the brand value of companies here, the Brand Finance report included a special feature ranking the world's top 20 "strongest nation brands".

While Singapore was previously first in the world in terms of brand strength, it was edged out by Switzerland this year.

Said Brand Finance: "Both countries have performed well, serving as benchmarks for other nation brands. However, Switzerland's impressive growth, particularly in (the tourism segment) . . . allowed it to claim the top spot."

While the firm uses a proprietary framework to assess a nation's brand value and strength, it said that it looks at four segments - investment, tourism, product and talent - since these segments cover areas "where a nation brand can enhance a country's GDP growth".