The Federal Reserve Board will meet Wednesday to consider Citicorp's merger with Travelers Group Inc., the first deal to combine a commercial bank and an insurance underwriter.

Fed approval would clear the way for the biggest deal in history to close 15 days later, forcing the partners to miss their Sept. 30 target closing date by at least a week.

The Fed is expected to approve the deal creating Citigroup though a decision may not be released Wednesday. "We'd love to see it (approved) on Wednesday, but we're concerned it could be a few more days," said William J. Sweet, a lawyer here handling the deal's regulatory logistics.

The merger was valued at $70 billion when unveiled April 6, but a decline in both companies' stock prices has lowered its value to roughly $50 billion.

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