NEW YORK -- Standard & Poor's Corp. affirms Chase Manhattan Corp. and its banking units. In addition S&P revised the credit outlook to "positive" from "stable."

S&P also said it affirms its ratings as follows: A-minus senior and BBB-plus subordinated debt and BBB preferred stock of Chase Manhattan Corp.; "A-2" commercial paper ratings of Chase Manhattan Corp. and Chase Manhattan Bank of Canada.

In addition, S&P said it affirms its CD, bank note, deposit notes, and LOC-backed issues of Chase Manhattan Bank N.A., and Chase (USA) at A/'A- 1'.

About $6.7 billion of debt is affected, the rating agency said.

Reflects Improved Health

S&P said: "The outlook revision reflects the improvement in the company's financial condition. Chase Manhattan Corp.'s management has taken vigorous steps to put its problems behind it. It has strengthened its capital base significantly in recent years, tapping equity markets three times in six years to replenish heavy losses from loan writeoffs.

"It also embarked on a program to accelerate the disposition of its troubled real estate loans after aggressively writing them down. The quality of remaining loans has been improving steadily, and reserves are adequate to cover potential losses.

"Higher capital levels allow Chase to make selective acquisitions to augment its nonbranch-based retail banking and other business lines. Chase's product array is highly diversified and is offered worldwide. The principal geographical restriction at this time is only in the national retail branch banking area.

Earnings Strength

"The mainstay of profitability will continue to be the retail banking, global corporate finance, fiduciary, and capital markets activities. The international component of these earnings is well positioned for growth.

"Ratings could be raised if the company's improving level of core profitability proves sustainable."

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