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Brochures are seen at a branch of Axis Bank in Mumbai, India, January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Khaitan & Co has advised Indian private lender Axis Bank on its $1.6 billion acquisition of the credit card and retail businesses in the South Asian country from Citigroup's local consumer banking arm. AZB & Partners acted for Citi.

The deal is Axis Bank's largest by far, and would expand its credit card customer base by 31 percent, narrowing the gap with the third-biggest player ICICI Bank, according to Reuters. The sale advances Citi’s plan of overhauling by exiting retail banking operations in 13 countries where it does not have the necessary scale to compete, Reuters adds.

Earlier this year, Linklaters and Allen & Overy acted as Citigroup sold its consumer business in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam for S$5 billion ($3.7 billion) to Singapore’s United Overseas Bank (UOB).

The Khaitan team was led by partners Haigreve Khaitan, Aravind Venugopal, Vidushi Gupta and Supratim Chakraborty, with support from seven other partners, while AZB’s team was led by managing partner Zia Mody, and partners Ashwath Rau, Roxanne Anderson, Gautam Ganjawala and Anand Shah.

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