HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA), Europe’s largest bank, agreed to buy $769 million of Lloyds Banking Group Plc (LLOY)’s consumer and commercial-banking assets in the United Arab Emirates to bolster its presence in the Middle East.
The unit has about 8,800 customers, London-based HSBC said in a statement today. Lloyds will keep its private and expatriate operations in the UAE, the company said in a separate statement. The banks didn’t disclose the price of the deal.
“The acquisition underscores the strategic importance of the UAE, and of the Middle East and North Africa region as a whole, to HSBC,” said Simon Cooper, deputy chairman and chief executive officer of HSBC in the Middle East and North Africa.
HSBC said customer accounts in the UAE grew 11 percent to $18.17 billion in 2011. Chief Executive Officer Stuart Gulliver in February named the UAE along with Mexico and India as an area for “repositioning” the bank in consumer finance.
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