The deal is aimed at substantially widening Arab Bank’s investment offering, currently confined to limited asset management services. Atlas has experience in mergers and acquisitions, private placements, initial public offerings, recapitalisations, bond issues and brokerage.

For Atlas, the agreement provides a means of regional expansion, primarily into GCC markets. While Atlas has done deals outside Jordan, the bulk of its activities are in the local market.

‘The deal offers considerable benefits to both sides,’ says a senior official at Atlas. ‘Arab Bank can expand its services by offering the full suite of investment banking products. Atlas can branch out regionally without the need for physical expansion.’

Atlas, which has paid-in capital of JD 5 million ($7 million), was created in 1996 as the first independent investment banking firm in the kingdom.