DUBAI — Bank of America Corp. plans to move the president of its Middle East operations Fares Noujaim to New York as the executive vice chairman of corporate and investment banking.

Noujaim, who was appointed in June 2008 as Merrill Lynch's president in the Middle East and North Africa will move back to New York in a matter of weeks, a person aware of the matter told Zawya Dow Jones.

Bank of America, the largest retail bank in America, bought troubled investment bank Merrill Lynch last year in a $50 billion deal at a time when Wall Street banks were wrestling with their mounting losses.

The bank's promotion of Noujaim to an executive position at its headquarters in Charlotte, N.Y., where deals are cooked and decisions are made signals a serious commitment to expand its operations in the Middle East.

In his new role, Noujaim will be reporting to Brian Moynihan, the president of global banking and wealth management at Bank of America since January 2009.

Noujaim, who was instrumental in forging strong relationships with the oil-rich Arab Gulf governments and executives, will remain as the bank's global head of Sovereign Wealth Funds.

Saeed Maghdoori, Bank of America's chief operating officer in the MENA region, will likely replace Noujaim in Dubai.

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