HSBC’s steps to streamline its business by disposing of non-core global assets has gifted Taylor Wessing and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer with a significant Middle East mandate, as Arab Jordan Investment Bank (AJIB) acquires the international retail bank’s local assets.
Taylor Wessing’s City-based corporate partner Ronald Graham advised AJIB on the deal, which constitutes one of the biggest banking agreements that Jordan has ever seen, with support from local firm Dajani & Associates.
Freshfields’ Dubai office, led by corporate partner Michael Hilton, advised HSBC.
Announced on 20 January and expected to complete during the first half of 2014, AJIB has agreed to pay an undisclosed sum for HSBC’s business in Jordan, which on 30 September last year comprised of four branches with gross assets worth approximately $1.2 billion.
AJIB’s chief executive, Hani AL-Qadi said that the bank was ‘pleased to have signed the agreement which has full regulatory backing’, according to a statement, which also stated the deal is part of AJIB’s growth strategy as it consolidates its market share in the Jordanian market.
The move comes as the wider Middle East region has seen a number of international entrants or firms expanding their presence, with Morgan Lewis & Bockius; White & Case; Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton; Baker & McKenzie and Addleshaw Goddard all recently setting up in Dubai.
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