ZURICH- Switzerland's Falcon Private Bank will halt operations in the UK market and sell the assets of its London-based Falcon Private Wealth Ltd unit to Dolfin Financial (UK) Ltd, it said on Monday without giving financial details.

Falcon, owned by Middle Eastern investment firm Aabar Investments INPTVA.UL , said in a statement the sale reflected its strategic priorities to focus on select markets via main platforms in Zurich and Dubai.

Falcon will continue to provide custodian services to its UK clients, whose wealth management needs will be served by Dolfin under the deal, which is expected to close in May at the latest.

"While I regret our withdrawal from the UK market, this is the right step for Falcon to take," Chief Executive Martin Keller said.

Falcon said it has around 20 staff in the UK business and manages around $1 billion in assets there, adding that Dolfin would retain the existing relationship managers.

(Reporting by Michael Shields and Angelika Gruber; Editing by Alexander Smith) ((Michael.Shields@thomsonreuters.com; +41 58 306 7461; Reuters Messaging: michael.shields.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))