September 15, 2008 / 9:15 AM / 10 years ago

Merrill Lynch CEO Thain postpones planned Asia trip

HONG KONG, Sept 15 (Reuters) - A planned visit to Asia this week by Merrill Lynch MER.N Chief Executive John Thain has been postponed after the Wall Street bank agreed to be sold to Bank of America (BAC.N), people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

Thain had been scheduled to fly to Hong Kong and Seoul but the trip was put off after the embattled Merrill struck a deal over the weekend to sell itself to Bank of America in a $50 billion all-stock deal, according to the sources, who had knowledge of his plans but were unauthorised to speak to the media.

Smaller rival Lehman Brothers LEH.N filed for bankruptcy protection. Lehman’s inability to find a rescuer had prompted worries that Merrill could be the next investment bank to tumble. Merrill shares fell 36 percent last week.

A Merrill Lynch spokesman in Hong Kong declined to comment. (Reporting by Tony Munroe in HONG KONG and Saeed Azhar in SINGAPORE; Editing by Lincoln Feast)

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