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BARNETT BANKS, INC. $500 MILLION SHELF REGISTRATION RATED

 CHICAGO, March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. has assigned preliminary ratings to Barnett Banks Inc.'s $500 million shelf registration. The senior debt component is assigned a preliminary rating of A' (Single-A), while the subordinated debt and preferred stock components are preliminarily rated A-' and BBB+', respectively.
 The rating reflects the improving financial condition of Barnett as well as its favorable long-term prospects given its position as the largest banking organization headquartered in Florida, a very attractive growth market. Barnett has the largest branch network in Florida which provides an effective
delivery system for a broad range of financial services. Excluding a special restructuring charge associated with the merger of Barnett and First Florida, fourth quarter earnings equaled $73.6 million, .77 percent return on assets, while full year adjusted earnings equaled $275 million, .73 percent. Earnings in 1993 should benefit from declining credit costs and consolidation expense savings.
 Asset quality measures show continued improvement. Nonperforming assets declined 13 percent or $129 million in the fourth quarter and represented the third consecutive quarter of solid progress in reducing problem assets. The nonperforming asset ratio declined to 3.14 percent of loans and other real estate owned at Dec. 31, 1992, from 3.60 percent at Sept. 30, 1992, and down from a peak of 4.06 percent at March 31, 1992. Loan loss reserves are solid with reserves equaling 2.10 percent of loans and 114 percent of nonperforming loans at year end 1992. Capitalization is adequate with Tier 1 leverage equaling 6.18 percent at Dec. 31, 1992.
 Barnett Banks, Inc., ranks among the twenty largest U.S. bank holding companies and is the largest in Florida with assets of $39.5 billion at Dec. 31, 1992. The company operates 734 banking offices in Florida and Georgia.
 -0- 3/10/93
 /CONTACT: Charles J. Orabutt, Jr., CPA of Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co., 312-368-3153/
 (BBI)


CO: Barnett Banks Inc. ST: Florida, Georgia IN: FIN SU: RTG

SH -- NY040 -- 4658 03/10/93 11:48 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 10, 1993
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