U.S. banks in Brazil chalked up record profits last year, riding a surge in interest margins and steep gains on their securities holdings.

According to results reported in Brazil this week, Chase Manhattan Corp. topped the U.S. banks with a fivefold increase in net earnings in Brazilian reais, to $278 million. Bank of America Corp followed with a 461% increase, to $90.5 million, and FleetBoston Financial Corp. recorded a 70% rise, to $119 million.

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