London: Banking giant HSBC said it had agreed to sell its operations in Pakistan comprising 10 branches to the Asian country's JS Bank Limited for an undisclosed sum.

The British lender said the sale, which it expects to complete in the final quarter of the year, represented further progress in its strategy to shed non-core assets to slash group costs.

"HSBC Bank Middle East Limited (HBME), an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc, has entered into an agreement to sell its banking business in Pakistan to JS Bank Limited," it said in a statement.  

"The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval and the approval of the direct shareholders in HBME and JS Bank Limited, is expected to complete in the final quarter of 2012.

HSBC said that as of June 30, the bank's Pakistan business had gross assets of about $635 million (496 million euros).

HSBC is Europe's biggest bank by assets, was founded in Hong Kong, and sees Asia as its main market despite being headquartered in London.

(Agencies)

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