Chase Manhattan Corp. recently turned down an offer to unload its Arizona bank for book value, or about $50 million, sources in Arizona said.

The New York-based company, which has not disguised its desire to shed the $600 million-asset Chase Bank of Arizona, rejected a bid from an investment syndicate headed by James P. Simmons, former chairman and chief executive of Valley National Corp., the sources said.

Mr. Simmons could not be reached for comment.

After losing $92 million from 1989 through 1991, Chase's Arizona outpost has recuperated from the state's real estate collapse and returned to profitability. But Arizona is no longer viewed as a strategic part of the Chase empire.

While Chase appears not to have been actively peddling the Arizona bank in recent months, bankers in the state are convinced it would sell if a higher price were offered.

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