Anthony Davis of Dean Witter Monday initiated coverage of Boatmen's Bancshares with an "accumulate" rating, touting the St. Louis-based bank's hefty fee income and conservative lending policies.

With the economy veering towards a downswing, Mr. Davis said, the industry at large could soon face decelerating loan growth and credit quality deterioration. However, "Boatmen's emerges relatively well- positioned in those regards," he said.

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