Citi Insurance Unit Seen Close to Selling Business

NEW YORK - Travelers Life and Annuity, a division, of Citigroup Inc., is reportedly close to a deal to sell its long-term-care business to Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.Reuters, citing unnamed sources, reported that the life and annuity business generated just $213 million of premiums last year. New York-based MetLife last year began selling long-term care insurance to the American Association of Retired Persons and has said the relationship was major driver in a 174% increase in nonmedical health, long-term-care, and other sales in 1998. A MetLife spokeswoman, Michelle Marin, declined to comment.

A study released in October by the Association of Banks in Insurance and Reagan & Associates said 17% of banks with insurance sales programs currently offer long-term care products and another 20% plan to add them within two years.

Alliance Capital Teaming With Argentine Manager

NEW YORK - Alliance Capital Management said Monday that it has an agreement with an Argentine investment management company to distribute mutual funds there.Alliance and Copernico Capital Partners plan to launch mutual funds that invest in non-Argentine securities, Alliance said. The first would be a fixed-income portfolio, though a spokeswoman said she did not know when it would be available.

Alliance already sells its ACM Offshore Funds in Latin America, but the new products would be available only to Argentine investors, the spokeswoman said. They would be subadvised by BCN Alliance Capital Management SA of Brazil. BCN Alliance is jointly owned by Alliance Capital and Banco de Credito Nacional of Sao Paulo.

- Cheryl Winokur

Dime, Hudson United Make $2.5B CRA Pledge

NEW YORK - Dime Bancorp and Hudson United Bank, which plan to merge, said their combined banking subsidiary - to be known as DimeBank - would pledge $2.5 billion in community reinvestment lending.The five-year commitment will be targeted to low- and moderate-income individuals, businesses, and communities throughout the new company's four-state market

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