In the latest round of cuts preparatory to the merger of Chemical Banking Corp. and Manufacturers Hanover Corp., 40 New York-based officers from the banks' developing markets groups were laid off last Thursday. Most worked at Hanover, which has the larger unit.

The cuts represent about 25% of the developing country groups' professionals in New York, according to a source in one of the units. The groups, which focus on companies in Latin America, Africa, and eastern Europe, offer loans, corporate advisory services, and debt restructuring services. They also include units that trade developing country debt.

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