J.P. Morgan & Co. plans to step up its efforts to bring medium-sized German companies to market with initial public offerings.

Last year the bank was among the top six banks in the country in arranging such equity issues, advising on nearly $1.2 billion in stock offerings for German companies. In one of the biggest such deals last year, the bank advised Munich-based bank Bayerische Vereinsbank AG on a $1.04 billion capital increase.

Speaking at an investment banking conference there, John Jetter, J.P. Morgan's managing director of investment banking in Germany, said that his bank will step up equity-related activities because of increasing interest among medium-size companies. He added that international investors are clamoring for such offerings.

Some 36 German companies sold shares for the first time in 1997 and bankers predict that the introduction of the euro on Jan. 1 will spur an increase in equity issues as well as investments in European stock markets.

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