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FIRST FLORIDA BANKS ANNOUNCES PLAN TO REPOSITION INVESTMENT SECURITIES PORTFOLIO, IMPROVE CAPITAL AND EARNINGS LEVELS

 FIRST FLORIDA BANKS ANNOUNCES PLAN TO REPOSITION


INVESTMENT SECURITIES PORTFOLIO, IMPROVE CAPITAL AND EARNINGS LEVELS
 TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- First Florida Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: FFBK) announced today a plan to reposition its investment securities portfolio to enhance its capital position; achieve higher taxable income and net after tax income from the investment portfolio by minimizing potential exposure to alternative minimum taxes; and restructure the maturity distribution of certain classifications of investment securities to shorten the duration of the portfolio.
 The repositioning of the portfolio will result in estimated gains before applicable income taxes of up to $20 million to $25 million, or after tax gains of up to $13 to $16 million during the first quarter of 1992. In addition, the company expects to earn an estimated $4 to $6 million after tax from operations in the first quarter. Together, operating earnings and securities gains are expected to produce $17 million to $22 million in after tax profits for the first quarter of 1992.
 "This repositioning of our investment securities portfolio will bring all of our capital ratios in line with industry standards, giving First Florida added flexibility to take advantage of opportunities in our market as the Florida economy improves in the months and years ahead. 1992 earnings, of course, will be enhanced as well, further strengthening the financial condition of the bank," said Paul M. Homan, president and chief executive officer of First Florida Banks, Inc. and its principal subsidiary, First Florida Bank, N.A.
 First Florida Banks, Inc. is a Tampa, Fla.-based bank holding company with $5.8 billion in assets at Dec. 31, 1991, and operates 144 banking offices along Florida's West Coast from Pensacola to Naples/Marco Island, and throughout the Central Florida area to the Atlantic Coast.
 Projected Low High Peer Group
 (Dollars in millions, except per share data)
 Operating earnings
 after tax $4 $6
 Securities gains 20 25
 Securities gains,
 after tax 13 16
 First quarter earnings,
 after tax 17 22
 Tier I Leverage Ratio (A) 5.93 pct. 6.03 pct. 6.14 pct.
 Shareholders' equity to
 period end assets (B) 6.47 pct. 6.56 pct. 6.56 pct.
 Book value per share $22.47 $22.80
 Earnings per share $ 1.09 $ 1.42
 SOURCE OF PEER GROUP COMPARISONS:
 (A) -- Uniform Bank Performance Report -- Banks between $3 billion
 and $10 billion in total assets -- Data as of Sept. 30,
 1991.
 (B) -- Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. -- Quarterly BriefBook as of
 Dec. 31, 1991. Composed of 122 largest U.S. Banking
 companies.
 -0- 2/26/92
 /NOTE TO EDITOR: There will be a press conference teleconference at 3:30 p.m. today with First Florida's Paul Homan, president and CEO; Bob Harris, CFO; and Bill Foster, treasurer to discuss this release. Interested members of the media should call 800-424-1939 within 10 minutes of the scheduled start time of the call./
 /CONTACT: Jerri Franz, vice president, corporate communications of First Florida Banks, 813-224-1972/
 (FFBK) CO: First Florida Banks ST: Florida IN: FIN SU:


AW-JJ -- FL010 -- 2813 02/26/92 12:46 EST
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Date:Feb 26, 1992
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