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BofA hires ex-Deutsche Bank Asia banking head to run APAC global markets

By Lawrence White

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp has hired Loh Boon Chye, a Deutsche Bank AG veteran, as head of Asia Pacific global markets, according to an internal memo obtained by Reuters.

The markets division that Loh will run comprises equities, fixed-income, currencies and commodities and Loh's appointment marks the first time Bank of America's global markets Asia business has been managed by a single leader.

Loh at different times ran both the global markets and the corporate and investment banking divisions at Deutsche Bank. Bank of America is seeking to improve cooperation between its own equivalent units across the region with his hiring.

In addition to the title of head of Asia Pacific global markets, a new role for the bank, Loh will be deputy president for Asia Pacific and country executive for Singapore and Southeast Asia, the memo said. He will start work in December and will join the bank's executive committee for Asia Pacific.

A spokesman for Bank of America Merrill Lynch confirmed the contents of the memo but declined to comment further.

Loh, a Singaporean known as one of the chief architects of Deutsche Bank's Asia markets business, left in March after 17 years at that firm.

Loh's appointment comes as Bank of America Merrill Lynch, like many of its peers in the industry, looks to reduce costs and increase the efficiency of its sales and trading businesses by integrating the fixed-income and equities divisions under the banner of a single unified markets unit.

He is expected to take on the task of getting a unified markets group to liaise more effectively with the corporate and investment banking business, as falling revenues and trading volumes push investment banks in Asia to try to shrink operations and cross-sell products more effectively.

Loh was appointed Asia Pacific head of corporate and investment banking at Deutsche Bank in 2010, a title he held until his departure. He joined the firm in 1995 and in 2002 became head of the global markets Asia unit that he helped build.

Known for his close ties with the financial institutions of his home country, Loh began his career as an investment officer at the Monetary Authority of Singapore in 1989 and was a non-independent director of the Singapore Exchange from 2004 to 2012.

(Editing by Matt Driskill)

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