Part-nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland
Simon Penney, RBS' chief executive for Middle East and Africa, told Reuters the bank would focus on debt products, risk management and transactional banking.
We'll be selling our M&A business in the region but everything else remains the same, Penney said, adding that less than five people will be leaving as a result.
It is a global decision to exit cash equities and M&A. We had some pretty good mandates live and we'll see all deals closing. We will honour all client obligations but we won't be originating any new business, he said.
RBS, 83 percent owned by the UK government, said last month it was working on four M&A deals in the region including Saudi Arabia-based Aujan Industries sale of a 50-percent stake to The Coca-Cola Company
There will be a limited impact in so far we won't be generating M&A revenues from the region but with a regional team of 220 people, we will make sure nothing changes, Penney said.
Two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters earlier that the bank could complete the sale in coming months with close to five interested parties already eyeing the business.
Penney declined to comment on possible buyers of the business or on the time frame to close the deal.
The move is part of a global shake up in which RBS plans to cut another 4,450 jobs bowing to pressure from the government.
Tom Emmet, RBS' managing director and head of corporate finance and equity capital markets for the region, will leave as part of the shake up, one of the sources familiar with the matter said.
The lender hopes to close four acquisition deals in the region in 2012, including the Aujan sale, Emmet told Reuters in an interview last month.
RBS, Britain's fifth biggest bank, said last week it would exit the investment banking arena, and cut jobs as it faces government pressure to shut down risky operations.
The bank aims to cut the balance sheet of its former global banking and markets business by 120 billion pounds to 300 billion in the next three years under the plan.
Several European banks have unveiled plans to offload assets in the Gulf Arab region as they look to raise capital and exit non-core businesses to cope with the euro zone crisis.
British lender Lloyds Banking Group
ADCB bought RBS' retail assets in the UAE in 2010 for about $100 million and last year hired a former RBS Mideast executive as its group chief operating officer.
Meanwhile, French bank Credit Agricole
(Reporting by Dinesh Nair and Mirna Sleiman; Editing by Amran Abocar and Jane Merriman)