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CHASE MANHATTAN RATINGS AFFIRMED BY FITCH, CREDIT TREND IMPROVING -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 CHASE MANHATTAN RATINGS AFFIRMED BY FITCH, CREDIT TREND IMPROVING
 -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
 NEW YORK, May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Chase Manhattan Corp.'s ratings are affirmed and its credit trend is revised to improving from declining. The following ratings are affirmed: senior debt 'BBB+', subordinated debt 'BBB', preferred stock 'BBB-', and commercial paper 'F-2'. The 'F-1' structured transaction rating for Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A. is also affirmed.
 A stronger balance sheet and gradual, consistently improving operating trends support the change in Fitch's credit trend for Chase. Capital ratios have shown particularly positive changes. After increasing by a full 100 basis points during 1991, Chase's Tier I risk- adjusted capital ratio was boosted by another 40 basis points during the first quarter of 1992, reaching 5.7 percent. In addition, Chase's all important leverage capital ratio stood at 5.64 percent at the end of March 1992, up from the 4.40 percent just five quarters earlier. The corporations's progress is encouraging.
 Asset quality measures have been stabilizing and show signs of improvement. Total nonperforming assets were essentially flat at the end of 1992's first quarter when compared to the end of 1991. These problem assets have declined about $450 million from March 1991 primarily due to fewer troubled loans in refinancing countries.
 U.S. economic indicators are struggling to show some improvement. Prospects for a revitalized economy appear weak and the commercial real estate industry continues to be impacted by high vacancy and low levels of absorption. The impact of the economic environment on Chase's loan portfolio is likely to produce only a modest reduction in nonperforming assets during 1992. As for loan charge-offs, Chase is maintaining a conservative posture because of the uncertainties in the commercial real estate sector, thus domestic write-downs are likely to remain near 1991 levels. LDC write-downs should not be a factor this year.
 Fitch anticipates that Chase's net income for 1992 should benefit from consistent performance in its retail business as well as an improvement in wholesale banking operations. Both sectors are benefiting from last year's corporate restructuring and stepped-up efforts to better control overhead expenses. Fitch expects that losses in commercial real estate finance should remain high for 1992.
 Ample liquidity is present at both the bank and parent company. Double leverage for the parent, which has been above peers, should decline in 1992 as $135 million of equity contract notes convert, supplemented by additional equity from dividend reinvestment.
 -0- 5/12/92
 /CONTACT: Fred W. DeBussey of Fitch, 212-908-0521/
 (CMB) CO: Chase Manhattan Corp. ST: New York IN: FIN SU: RTG


LR -- NY099 -- 9310 05/12/92 16:29 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 12, 1992
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