The News: Bank of America Plans to Bulk Up Japan Research and Corporate Banking

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When banks say they're expanding in Asia, they usually mean Asia-ex-Japan. Not so for Bank of America and its Merrill Lynch brands.

BusinessWeek reports Bank of America Merrill Lynch plans to expand research coverage of Japanese equities 13 percent this year. It's aiming to vault past Citigroup to become the leading non-Japanese research firm in the country. Covering more Japanese companies may help BofA win more M&A advisory and equity underwriting business. Hiring targets aren't clear, but there's been one indirectly related hire: Andrew Hunter from UBS's brokerage unit, will lead Japan equity sales in London for BofA Merrill Lynch.

Separately, BofA plans to add 30 slots for corporate bankers in Japan this year, according to The Wall Street Journal:

The new hires will include corporate-banking salesmen, sales support and credit specialists, bringing total head count in the area to 100....Legacy Bank of America has around 200 people in Japan, while legacy Merrill Lynch has about 1,200 people in the country.

Merrill Lynch to Expand Japanese Equity Coverage [BusinessWeek]

BofA Plans Japan Corporate Banking Push [WSJ]

Citi to hire 200 in Singapore this year [ Business Times]

The jobs will be spread across corporate, consumer and private banking businesses.

Royal Bank of Scotland loses another Sydney banker, but hires three for its equities team [Dow Jones Newswires, via the Australian]

Banks Pull Back From Pakistan [WSJ]

DBS CEO, who joined in Nov, earned $3 mln in two months [Reuters]

Deadline Extended to Rule on Box-Office Futures Trading

[NY Times]

MasterCard Names Banga as Next Chief [NY Times]

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