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ZURICH Jan 6 EFG International AG has agreed a deal for Falcon Private Bank's activities in Hong Kong including 800 million Swiss francs ($884.81 million) of assets, which the Abu Dhabi-owned group has decided to exit.
Neither the Swiss private bank nor Falcon disclosed the details of how the two businesses would be merged, including the key question over what financial enticement Falcon's advisers, and their clients, will be given to be referred to EFG.
Falcon said in a statement on Monday it was leaving Hong Kong in favour of concentrating on the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe, and that its Singapore branch would serve as its private banking hub in Asia.
EFG said it expected to begin managing the lion's share of Falcon's assets in Hong Kong.
"We are looking forward to welcoming new clients and growing our business in Asia, alongside our new colleagues who share the same level of dedication and expertise," said Albert Chiu, EFG's head of Asia.
Falcon is owned by Abu Dhabi fund Aabar Investments, which in turn is majority-owned by International Petroleum Investment Company, a quasi-sovereign entity controlled by the Abu Dhabi government. Falcon was the private banking unit of American International Group (AIG) before Aabar bought it in April 2009.
The deal represents a shift for EFG, which has spent the last two years in a restructuring to reverse large parts of its growth-by-acquisition strategy. Last month, it became the latest Swiss bank to say it would work with U.S. officials in a crackdown on wealthy Americans evading taxes through hidden offshore accounts. ($1 = 0.9042 Swiss francs) (Reporting By Katharina Bart, editing by Elizabeth Piper)