The Federal Reserve Board on Monday gave BankBoston Corp. permission to acquire the debt and equity underwriting unit of BancAmerica Robertson Stephens.

The unit, which will be merged with BancBoston Securities Inc., may underwrite and deal in debt and equity securities, extend credit, provide commercial real estate equity financing, offer investment advice, and broker securities.

The Fed said competition would not be hurt by the deal because BancBoston Securities specializes in debt products and the Robertson Stephens unit concentrates on equities.

BankAmerica Corp. negotiated to sell the unit after agreeing to merge with NationsBank Corp., which already owned Montgomery Securities, an equity underwriting unit. The BankAmerica-NationsBank merger is expected to close Sept. 30. The $800 million Robertson Stephens sale is expected to be completed Monday. - Jaret Seiberg

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