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BoA Merrill Lynch shifts Canada coverage to New York

Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC-N) will no longer cover Canadian economics from Toronto, cutting staff there and shifting coverage to New York, a source with knowledge of the changes said on Tuesday.

Economist Sheryl King, who had become one of the most dovish commentators on Bank of Canada monetary policy in calling for interest rate cuts, is the most high-profile victim of the bank's decision to close its Toronto research operation.

"The economics coverage is being transitioned to a North American business model based out of New York, and Gustavo Reis will be the economist covering the Canadian market," the source said.

"(The change) had nothing to do with her calls on the market, it was purely a business decision to create a North American model based out of New York."

King broke with consensus by forecasting the Bank of Canada would cut its main policy rate 75 basis points in the second half of this year, predicting conditions in Europe and the United States could deteriorate significantly.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch declined to comment.

Bank of America bought Merrill Lynch in 2009.

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