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FITCH RATES MERRILL LYNCH NOTES AND SECURITIES -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, June 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Merrill Lynch & Co.'s (NYSE: MER) $300 million 4.75 percent senior notes due June 24, 1996 and $355 million equity participation securities with minimum return protection due June 30, 1999 are rated AA-' by Fitch. The credit trend is stable.
 The equity participation securities do not bear periodic interest rate payments. At maturity, the beneficial owner will receive at a minimum $1,200 per $1,000 principal amount, plus an interest payment based on the percentage increase, if any, in the S&P 500 Composite Stock Price Index. The securities are not redeemable prior to maturity and rank pari passu with all other senior debt securities of the company.
 The ratings reflect increased evidence of improving credit strength due to a more stable revenue base with increased fee income, tighter expense control despite expanding business volumes, reduced principal risk taking activities, and more tightly controlled credit and market risk positions.
 Merrill Lynch continues to report strong earnings across all business lines. The company's 1992 net earnings were a record $893.8 million, including $85.6 million of accounting changes. Record 1992 earnings represented a 28.4 percent increase from 1991's record earnings. First-quarter 1993's net earnings were also a record $342 million, up 57 percent from a year ago. While earnings are not necessarily sustainable at these levels, they should be better protected from market activity declines.
 Merrill Lynch continues to maintain substantial liquidity at the parent company as well as its operating subsidiaries. Term funding maturities have been lengthened and liquidity is well managed while leverage has been controlled.
 -0- 6/17/93
 /CONTACT: Teri L. Seelig, 212-908-0638, or Nancy E. Stroker, CFA, 212-908-0533, both of Fitch/
 (MER)


CO: Merrill Lynch & Co. ST: New York IN: FIN SU: RTG

MP -- NY083 -- 3233 06/17/93 15:36 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 17, 1993
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