Nearly half of a bank's unrealized equity investment gains could be counted as Tier 2 risk-based capital under a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. proposal issued Tuesday. The proposal, which is being adopted by all the banking and thrift agencies, would affect roughly 600 institutions.

Only 21 institutions hold investments with unrealized gains large enough to comprise a significant proportion of their risk-based capital, said Stephen G. Pfeifer, FDIC examination specialist. These banks made equity investments before the practice was barred by state or federal rule changes.

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