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FIRST AMERICAN CORP. 'BBB' SENIOR DEBENTURES ON FITCHALERT POSITIVE -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- First American Corp.'s $15 million "BBB" 7.625 percent debentures due 2002 are placed on FitchAlert with positive implications. The rating action reflects the Nashville-based banking company's improved core earnings performance, lower nonperforming assets (NPAs), and strong capital and reserves.
 During 1991 and 1992, NPAs and delinquencies declined 57 percent to $96 million, or 2.6 percent of total loans and foreclosed properties at year-end 1992, down from $223 million or 5.2 percent at year-end 1990. In addition, since First American's loan loss reserve was maintained at 4.5 percent-5.0 percent of loans during this period, reserve coverage of problem assets rose to 188 percent from 85 percent.
 The improvement in asset quality was accompanied by a reduction in First American's credit-related expenses. Loan loss provisions and foreclosed property expenses consumed only 15 percent of tax-equivalent operating revenues last year, down from 22 percent in 1991 and 63 percent in 1990. As a result, First American earned $42 million in 1992, slightly more than the company's combined earnings for the prior five years. In addition, First American's Tier 1 ratio improved to 10.1 percent from 7.2 percent since year-end 1990.
 -0- 2/4/93
 /CONTACT: Christopher M. Siedman, 212-908-0524, or Scott J. O'Donnell, 212-908-0531, both of Fitch/
 (FATN)


CO: First American Corp. ST: Tennessee IN: FIN SU: RTG

SM -- NY056 -- 2923 02/04/93 11:14 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 4, 1993
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