In the first such deal between U.S. and Russian financial institutions, BankAmerica Corp. said it has signed a $3 million, two-year contract to provide training and technical assistance to Vladivostok-based Far Eastern Commercial Bank.

The contract is part of a worldwide program launched in 1993 by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and aimed at improving banking services in emerging markets. It follows a series of initiatives launched by the Federal Reserve Board and international lending agencies designed to help Russia stabilize and restructure its banking system and improve access to foreign capital.

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