AMBAC Indemnity Corp., the second-leading insurer of municipal bonds in 1991, said on Friday that three of its professionals had been laid off.

Carolyn S. Leigh, first vice president of the insurer's new-products division, and G. Kris Rao, vice president in the same department, were told last week that their positions had been eliminated.

In a separate move, the firm also announced that Dominic Catello, assistant vice president of finance, had been relieved.

An AMBAC representative said the decision to relieve the new-products executives in no way reflects on the performance of the department but instead was simply a "phaseout of two positions."

The representative was not willing to comment on Mr. Catello's departure, except to say that the decision was completely unrelated to the other two professionals.

"We are leaving on amicable terms," Mr. Rao said. "AMBAC appears to want to push the new-product development part of the business towards its line managers and our positions were eliminated."

Mr. Rao said he was uncertain about his next move but was studying several options. Mr. Rao's last day is July 1. Ms. Leigh, who could not be reached for comment, left on June 19.

According to Securities Data Co./Bond Buyer figures, AMBAC insured over $16.6 billion in tax-exempt debt in 888 deals in 1991, representing over 37% of insured loans.

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