Merrill Lynch adds to research group

Four new faces brought in to improve Asian coverage.

Merrill Lynch has added four new members to its Asian research group. Henry Ho will join mid-October as head of Hong Kong and China research; Verdi Budiman joins early October as a telecoms analyst for the ASEAN region; Stephen Corry joined earlier this month as a strategist covering pan-regional topics and Rachman Koeswanto has joined the Jakarta office as a research assistant for Indonesia.

Ho moves to Merrill from Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, where he was head strategist for Hong Kong and China research for the past two years. Prior to that, he spent 18 years on the buy-side at Atlantis Fund Management, Baring Asset Management and Schroder Investment Management.

Budiman moves from JP Morgan where he served a similar role to the one he will assume with his new employers. His initial focus will be on telecom and media stocks in Indonesia and the Philippines. He reports directly to Alistair Scott and as well as Michelle Ring once he relocates to Singapore.

Corry has spent the past eight years on the buy side, most recently running Asia Pacific investments for Sun Life of Canada Asset Management where his funds were rated "A" by S&P for their consistency of outperformance. He reports to Spencer White.

Koeswanto, who will report to Heriyanto Irawan, joins Merrill from Indo Premier Capital's investment banking team.