Shareholders of BankAmerica Corp. and NationsBank Corp. voted overwhelmingly Thursday to approve the two companies' merger.

In a preliminary count, 97% of BankAmerica's shares had been voted in favor of the transaction and 98% of NationsBank's.

The final tally will be announced today.

The deal, unveiled April 13 at an initial value of $60 billion, is expected to close next Wednesday at a value closer to $43 billion, reflecting the decline in the banking companies' share prices. The new company is to be based in Charlotte, N.C., NationsBank's headquarters city, and be called BankAmerica Corp.

Market turmoil sparked questions at the shareholders' meeting in San Francisco, where BankAmerica chairman David Coulter said that third-quarter losses from trading, investments, and loans could exceed the $330 million already disclosed.

Mr. Coulter said he could not predict whether there would be future writeoffs. He also said the company would do all it could to recoup underperforming loans to Russian companies, though he conceded this may be "difficult."

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