NationsBank Corp. said it would grant 16 million stock options to 60,000 employees. The plan covers workers ranging from part-timers to vice presidents.

Option plans are usually reserved for top executives, but NationsBank has offered broad-based ownership before: In 1992, it awarded seven million shares to employees from vice president down.

The exercise price for the options announced Monday is $84.25, equal to the July 1 closing price of NationsBank common stock.

Half of each worker's option can be exercised as of Jan. 1, 1997, provided NationsBank stock has closed at a minimum of $100 a share for 10 consecutive trading days. The remainder can be exercised after NationsBank stock closes at $120 a share or more for 10 consecutive trading days.

Regardless of price, all the options can be exercised as of July 1, 2000. They expire June 29, 2001.

The total of NationsBank shares on the market is 299.32 million. The 16 million new shares will increase the total outstanding by 5%.

- Ben Fishman and Sandy Gonzalez, Bloomberg Business News

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