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California | BRIEFLY / FINANCIAL SERVICES

B of A to Expand Securities Business in Europe

May 11, 2000|Bloomberg News

Bank of America Corp., the largest U.S. bank, said it's considering acquisitions and hiring investment bankers from rival firms to bolster its securities business in Europe. The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank has no plans to buy a "big investment bank" and would rather recruit bankers from other firms, said Kenneth Lewis, Bank of America's president and chief operating officer. The bank would consider buying a smaller firm to fill a particular niche, he said. Bank of America, which has had a commercial investment bank in London since the 1930s, has about 2,000 staff in England's capital. That number is likely to rise to about 2,300 in the next year, said Lewis Coleman, chairman of Bank of America Securities, in an interview with Bloomberg News. Coleman added that the bank wants to bolster its European equities and high-yield debt businesses, as well as advising on more mergers and acquisitions. B of A shares fell $1.69 to close at $46.50 on the NYSE.

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