SAN FRANCISCO -- One of the nation's most dynamic bank chiefs will be around a while longer: BankAmerica Corp.'s board has asked chairman and chief executive Richard M. Rosenberg to stay beyond normal retirement next April, people close to the company said.

BankAmerica declined to I comment on the action, but confirmed that Mr. Rosenberg will continue as CEO beyond his 65th birthday April 21. "Dick will remain at least through the end of 1995," said spokesman John Keane.

A BankAmerica official, who asked not to be identified, said directors felt Mr. Rosenberg's continued leadership is important.

"The board likes Dick Rosenberg, and he has not been on the job that long" the official noted.

Mr. Rosenberg's extended tenure is not entirely a surprise. An exuberant bundle of energy the Massachusetts native seems younger than his 64 years. And analysts believe that the benefits of the vast expansion program he sponsored are just beginning to benefit the bottom line, suggesting he would leave a more impressive legacy if stayed on a few more years.

The nation's second-largest bank company does not have a mandatory' retirement policy, and Mr. Rosenberg's predecessor, the dour A.W. Clausen, was CEO until 1990, when he turned 67. Still, people close to BankAmerica said that Mr. Rosenberg had expected to step down in 1995, urged on by his wife, Barbara.

While it is not clear that he had requested permission to retire, he apparently raised the issue earlier this year, prompting directors to ask him to stay.

Some people close to BankAmerica said directors were concerned about supposed infighting at senior levels, but the BankAmerica official said such talk was "sheer speculation."

BankAmerica also denied a report that the board had asked Mr. Rosenberg to remain as part of a plan to hold the CEO's slot open for Frank N. Newman, the Treasury Department's second-ranking official and formerly BankAmerica's chief financial officer.

BankAmerica watchers also discounted the report, noting that Lewis W. Coleman, BankAmerica's vice chairman and finance chief, remains the clear favorite to succeed Mr. Rosenberg.

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