Interest margins at the large California thrifts will widen through the end of the year, as the 11th district cost-of-funds index begins to decline, a leading analyst predicted.

The index, to which loans at most California thrifts are tied, fell 0.4%, to 5.14%, in July, according to numbers released on Aug. 31. And analyst Bruce Harting of Salomon Brothers said the index will continue to fall gradually through the end of the year.

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