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MOVES-Citi taps CIMB banker for new TMT role as M&A booms in Southeast Asia

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SINGAPORE, July 8 (Reuters) - Citigroup has hired Varun Matta, a banker from CIMB Group, for a newly created role covering technology, media and telecoms investment banking in Southeast Asia as regional dealmaking hits a record.

"Asean is home to some of the fastest growing TMT companies globally and we are further intensifying our focus on this sector with this key hire to support our client-led growth across South East Asia," Jan Metzger, Citi's head of Asia Pacific banking, capital markets and advisory, said in an email.

Southeast Asian deals jumped 83% to a record $124.8 billion in the first half of this year, driven by blockbuster transactions including ride-hailing giant Grab's $40 billion merger with U.S. special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Altimeter Growth Corp.

Singapore-based Matta, who will join Citi as a managing director in October, will report to Jim Perry and Ho-Yin Lee, co-heads of TMT for Asia Pacific, and David Biller, head of Southeast Asia banking, capital markets and advisory business.

Matta headed the M&A and financial sponsors business at CIMB, where he worked for three years, and previously had a six-year stint at Credit Suisse, among other roles.

Citi advised Indonesian e-commerce leader Tokopedia on a $18 billion merger with Grab's rival Gojek in May, and last month it advised Norway's Telenor on the merger of the telecom firm's Malaysian mobile unit with a subsidiary of Axiata Group . (Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)