(Bloomberg) -- Standard Chartered Plc agreed to sell its Zimbabwe business to the country’s FBC Holdings Ltd. as it presses ahead with plans to exit seven markets in Africa and the Middle East. 

The emerging markets-focused bank will transfer 100% of its share holding in the unit, including the custodial services business, to FBCH, as the investment holding company is known. FBCH will also acquire the economic interest in Africa Enterprise Network Trust whose main asset is a 20.7% shareholding in Mashonaland Holdings, according to a statement Thursday.

Standard Chartered is exiting seven markets to simplify its operations and focus on higher growth areas within the region. The bank sold its Jordan business to Arab Jordan Investment Bank in March. It will also fully exit Angola, Cameroon, Gambia, Jordan, Lebanon and Sierra Leone, and will close its retail banking operations in Tanzania and the Ivory Coast to focus on corporate banking. 

The agreement with FBCH “is in line with the bank’s global strategy, aimed at achieving operational efficiencies, reducing complexity, and driving scale,” Sunil Kaushal, Standard Chartered’s chief executive officer for Africa and the Middle East, said in the statement.

FBCH will continue to employ all of Standard Chartered staff in Zimbabwe and will take over its clients in the country. FBCH has interests in commercial banking, insurance, re-insurance, micro-finance, stock-broking and mortgage finance.

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