UBS AG (UBS) has hired Keith Magnus away from Merrill Lynch to run UBS' Singapore and Malaysia investment banking efforts, according to a published media report.

The hiring is a setback for Merrill's owner Bank of America ( BAC), which is trying to hold onto Merrill's Asia investment banking team, the report noted.

The report, published Sunday on The Wall Street Journal's Web site, cited one source familiar with Magnus' move.

Magnus has been involved in several large investment banking deals in Singapore in recent months, according to the article.

He isn't the first Merrill Lynch banker to depart in recent months, the article noted. Others include Kalpana Desai, the firm's former regional head of mergers and acquisitions, and Margaret Ren, a senior China banker.

Bank of America acquired Merrill Lynch last September at the height of the financial crisis as Merrill was facing a crisis of confidence among its trading partners and shareholders.

Shares of Bank of America closed Friday down 18 cents at $12.51. Shares of UBS ended the session up 6 cents at $13.90.

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This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.

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