Bahrain-Chase Manhattan Corp. is downsizing its trading operations in this Persian Gulf island nation.

A Chase spokesman confirmed reports that only a single dealer would handle trading in foreign currencies and emerging market securities in Bahrain as of the end of July, down from six. Bahrain is the gulf's main financial and banking center.

He added that the move was a part of a "natural concentration" in activity to London due to reduced trading in European currencies. The European Community is scheduled to merge member currencies into a single unit at the beginning of 1999.

The spokesman also emphasized that the decison "by no means suggests we are backing down from out commitment to serve our corporate customers."

Chase is one of several banks that have cut back or reduced their dealing operations in the gulf city.

Earlier Okasan International E.C., a unit of Japan's Okasan Securities, announced it was liquidating its Bahrain office July 1.

France's Banque Indosuez closed its treasury department in Manama at the end of 1996, and Swiss Bank Corp. shut down an offshore banking unit in Bahrain the same year.

- Compiled by James R. Kraus

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