The Federal Reserve Board gave PNC Bank Corp.'s section 20 unit permission Monday to underwrite commercial securities worldwide.

Pittsburgh-based PNC Capital Markets already had authority to underwrite municipal revenue bonds, mortgage-related securities, and commercial paper and to act as an investment adviser. The new authority lets it earn up to one-quarter of its revenue from underwriting stocks.

Separately on Monday, the Fed approved Bank One Corp.'s acquisition of half of EquiServe Ltd. Partnership, a Canton, Mass., trust company that offers shareholder services. These include dividend disbursements and mailings of proxy materials.

The Fed also gave Popular Inc., parent of Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, permission to reorganize itself into two U.S.-based banks and three agreement corporations. One bank would be based in New York, the other in Puerto Rico.

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