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FIRST FINANCIAL CARIBBEAN CORPORATION REPORTS RECORD SECOND QUARTER AND SIX MONTH EARNINGS

 SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, July 22 /PRNewswire/ -- First Financial Caribbean Corporation (NASDAQ: FRCC), Puerto Rico's leading mortgage banker, today reported record earnings for the second quarter and six months ended June 30, 1993.
 For the three months ended June 30, 1993, First Financial reported a net income increase of 51 percent to $6,957,000, or $1.84 per fully diluted share, as compared to $4,615,000, or $1.50 per fully diluted share in 1992.
 Earnings rose 49 percent for the six-month period ended June 30, 1993 to $11,198,000, or $2.96 per fully diluted share. First Financial earned $7,536,000, or $2.45 per fully diluted share for the same period last year.
 Fully diluted earnings per share for the 1993 periods reflect the issuance and sale of 690,000 additional shares of common stock in November, 1992.
 Salomon Levis, chairman and chief executive officer, commented, "These outstanding results for the second quarter and six months show that we are continuing to build on our already strong base in the Puerto Rico mortgage market and are on a solid footing to proceed with our expansion into the U.S. market."
 Net revenues in the second quarter of 1993 rose 33.6 percent to $17.8 million, up from $13.1 million for the three months ended June 30, 1992. Net revenues for the six months ended June 30, 1993 totaled $34.4 million, a significant increase over 1992 six-month net revenues of $23.8 million. Most of the six months revenue growth is mainly attributable to significant increases in both mortgage loan revenues and interest income.
 Net revenues for the second quarter and six months included a gain of $2,378,000 on the sale of mortgage servicing rights. First Financial usually engages in the sale of servicing rights only on a very limited basis. However, during the second quarter the company sold a portion of its servicing portfolio having the lowest servicing fees, and recognized a gain on this sale. First Financial reported a gain of $935,000 from the sale of mortgage servicing rights for the six months ended June 30, 1992.
 For the six months ended June 30, 1993 loan originations totaled $671 million. Refinancings held steady at 65 percent of total originations for both the three- and six-month periods ended June 30, 1993. Refinancings are more common in Puerto Rico than in the United States and generally occur at a more consistent rate. The level of originations continued to be favorably affected by the current interest rate environment.
 The mortgage loan servicing portfolio totaled $1.93 billion at June 30, 1993, an increase of more than 27 percent from the prior year.
 First Financial also announced that it is awaiting final regulatory approval of its proposed acquisition of Catano Savings Bank of Puerto Rico.
 The acquisition is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 1993, at which time Catano will be renamed Doral Federal Savings Bank.
 First Financial Caribbean Corporation, through its two subsidiaries, HF Mortgage Bankers and Doral Mortgage Corporation, is Puerto Rico's leading mortgage banker. The company, with 16 offices throughout Puerto Rico and one office in Orlando, Florida, engages in the origination, sale and servicing of mortgage loans.
 FIRST FINANCIAL CARIBBEAN CORPORATION
 Consolidated Statements of Operations
 Statement of Income
 (Dollars in thousands, except per share data)
 Three Months Six Months
 1993 1992 1993 1992
 Revenue:
 Mortgage loan sales
 & fees $ 7,710 $ 7,323 $ 16,504 $11,290
 Servicing Income 1,724 1,568 4,330 3,388
 Interest Income 5,926 4,229 11,032 8,224
 Sale of servicing
 rights 2,378 -- 2,378 935
 Other Income 76 2 120 (56)
 Total Revenue $17,814 $ 3,122 $ 34,364 $23,781
 Costs and Expenses:
 Interest expenses $ 2,411 $ 2,268 $ 4,693 $ 4,544
 Loan origination and general &
 administration 5,484 5,791 12,719 10,110
 Income before taxes 9,919 5,063 16,952 9,127
 Puerto Rico income
 taxes 2,962 448 5,754 1,591
 Net Income $ 6,957 $ 4,615 $ 11,198 $ 7,356
 Earnings Per Common
 Share(a)
 Primary(b) $ 2.08 $ 1.75 $ 3.33 $ 2.83
 Fully diluted(b) $ 1.84 $ 1.50 $ 2.96 $ 2.45
 Weighted Common Shares
 Outstanding
 Primary 3,284,306 2,565,860 3,280,935 2,565,860
 Fully Diluted 3,788,482 3,079,432 3,788,482 3,079,432
 NOTES: (a) Primary earnings per common share are calculated by dividing net earnings applicable to common stock by common stock outstanding. On a fully diluted basis, both net earnings and shares outstanding are adjusted to assume the conversion of the company's 10 1/2 percent Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock Series A.
 (b) Earnings per share for 1993 reflect the 690,000 shares of common stock issued and sold in November, 1992.
 -0- 7/22/93
 /CONTACT: Edward Nebb or Jeff Majtyka, both of Morgen-Walke Associates, 212-850-5600, for First Financial Caribbean Corporation/
 (FRCC)


CO: First Financial Caribbean Corporation ST: IN: FIN SU: ERN

TM -- NY002 -- 4272 07/22/93 07:30 EDT
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Date:Jul 22, 1993
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