LOS ANGELES -- BankAmerica Corp. doesn't expect to issue more common stock in order to carry out its near-term acquisition plans, the company's chairman and chief executive said.

"We don't believe we would have to go to the capital markets for the kinds of acquisitions we are likely to do," said Richard M. Rosenberg, speaking at a news briefing before the company's annual meeting on Thursday.

However, he added if the company were to make a major acquisition -- which he defined as a bank with roughly $40 billion of assets -- BankAmerica probably would have to float a common stock offering.

Less than $40 Billion

The San Francisco-based banking giant expects that any purchases it makes will be less than half the size of its Security Pacific Corp. acquisition, Mr. Rosenberg said. The Los Angeles bank company, acquired last year, had roughly $80 billion of assets.

Analysts have speculated that regulators might insist that BankAmerica issue common stock before doing another big merger -- a move that would dilute per-share earnings.

BankAmerica's leverage capital ratio, a key measure watched by regulators, was 5.91% of assets at the end of March, compared with 7.52% at the end of the first quarter of 1992. Much of the decline reflects writeoffs of assets inherited from Security Pacific.

Mr. Rosenberg noted that BankAmerica also is interested in buying financial services companies other than banks, such as mortgage servicing and mutual fund companies.

Retention Picture Brightens

On other matters, Mr. Rosenberg said BankAmerica has bettered its projections for retention of commercial and retail customers following the merger.

Consumer retention is running at a 95% rate as measured by number of relationships and size of account balances, he said.

Mr. Rosenberg repeated previous warnings that BankAmerica's revenue growth is weak, especially in its core business of retail banking in California.

Nevertheless, BankAmerica expects to boost earnings by making more improvements in credit quality and cost control. "We can grow earnings without improving revenue," Mr. Rosenberg said.

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