No Rating Fallout Seen From 1st Chicago Setback

NEW YORK - The expected jump in losses in First Chicago NBD Corp.'s credit card business is unlikely to affect the creditworthiness of the banking company, bond analysts at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. concluded.

In a recent commentary, Keefe noted the projected 5.8% loss rate on credit cards, disclosed to analysts last month, is "noticeably above industry averages." The firm also said credit cards account for more of First Chicago's net income - about 23% - than they do at most banks.

Keefe said, however, that a 100-basis-point rise in credit card losses would result in only a "single-digit decrease" in earnings.

Merrill Lynch CEO To Head NASD Board

WASHINGTON - The National Association of Securities Dealers has elected Merrill Lynch & Co. chairman and chief executive Daniel P. Tully to head its board of governors.

The election of Mr. Tully as nonexecutive chairman completes the implementation of the governance recommendations made by a select committee headed by Warren Rudman, the former U.S. senator from New Hampshire.

The committee also recommended reconstituting the association's board so that outside directors are in the majority, and creating of subsidiary boards having an equal number of industry and nonindustry members.

In addition to his board chairmanship, Mr. Tully will head a committee charged with finding a successor to Joseph R. Hardiman, who has announced he intends to retire as the organization's president and CEO.

Mr. Tully began his career at Merrill Lynch in 1955 and rose to the position of president and chief operating officer in 1985. He became chief executive officer in 1992 and chairman in 1993.

Citi, PaineWebber Lead $3.7M Chilean ADR Issue

NEW YORK - Citicorp Securities and PaineWebber Inc. led the underwriting group for a public offering of $3.7 million in American depositary receipts for Santa Isabel S.A., a Chilean supermarket company.

J.P. Morgan & Co. and Smith Barney acted as co-managers of the offering, which was priced at $26 per share.

All shares in the offering were sold by the controlling shareholder, Eduardo Elberg, who has announced that he will retain ownership of approximately 40% of the company and will remain as CEO and chairman of the board.

Each represents 15 common shares.

N.Y. Thrift Gets Nod For 5% Stock Buyback

NEW YORK - Flushing Financial Corp., parent of Flushing Savings Bank, has received regulatory approval to repurchase up to 5% of its common stock.

The Office of Thrift Supervision authorized Flushing Financial to buy back as many as 431,250 of the 8.6 million shares it issued in November, when it converted to stock ownership. The company expects to complete the purchase by Nov. 21.

The company said it intends to buy an additional 285,100 shares, which equals the amount of stock that was issued in May under a restricted stock incentive plan.

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