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Bank of America names new SE Asia head amid financial deal boom

(Recasts, adds Asia hiring boom, deal volumes)

HONG KONG, July 11 (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp has appointed Mayank Saxena as head of its Southeast Asia financial institutions group (FIG), the latest in a spurt of investment bank hires in the financials sector amid a surge of dealmaking in Asia by banks and insurers.

Saxena will report to Patrick Porritt, Bank of America Merrill Lynch's new Asia Pacific FIG head, and to Southeast Asia investment banking head Chris Gammons, the U.S. bank said in an internal memo seen by Reuters on Friday.

The financials sector was Asia's busiest in both equity raising and mergers activity in the first half of the year, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Porritt was himself last month hired from UBS. Fierce demand for investment bankers expert in advising financial clients has triggered a string of such hires in Asia this year.

In the first half, the financials sector captured 17 percent of equity issued with $14.9 billion raised, ahead of industrials, while in M&A financials accounted for 21 percent of announced deals, Thomson Reuters data showed.

Bank of America is advising Singapore's Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd on its $5 billion acquisition of Wing Hang Bank Ltd announced in April - the largest Singapore cross-border FIG M&A since 2001.

Saxena was previously at Credit Suisse in Singapore, also covering financial institutions in Southeast Asia. He will be responsible for sourcing and executing investment banking deals for financial institution clients in the region, the memo said.

A spokesperson for Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Hong Kong declined to comment.

(Reporting by Lawrence White; Editing by Christopher Cushing)