SAN FRANCISCO - Banc of America Securities said Monday that it has opened its first office in Palo Alto, Calif., joining a slew of other investment banks that have put staff in Silicon Valley to target the region's booming tech industries.The investment and securities arm of Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America Corp. said the office will house its technology-related corporate and investment banking practice headed by Barry Newman, who also works in Palo Alto.

Since December about 50 employees - almost all of whom are investment bankers - have moved to the Page Mill Road location from the company's San Francisco office.

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