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FIRST MIDWEST BANCORP ANNOUNCES INCREASED FOURTH QUARTER EARNINGS

 NAPERVILLE, Ill., Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- First Midwest Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: FMBI) today reported net income for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 1992, increased 15 percent to $4.7 million, or $0.38 per share, over last year's like quarter of $4.1 million or $0.33 per share. Net income for the full year 1992 was $17.9 million, or $4.1 million or $1.43 per share, a slight increase over 1991's $17.8 million or $1.42 per share.
 Contributing to the improved operating performance for the quarter and full year were higher levels of both tax equivalent net interest income and other operating income. The improved net interest income resulted in a tax equivalent net interest margin of 5.16 percent for the quarter and 4.75 percent for the full year as contrasted to 1991's margin of 4.49 percent. Partially offsetting the improved performance was higher other operating expenses primarily related to asset remediation activities.
 Non performing loans at year end of $12.2 million represented their lowest level of the year and 0.84 percent of total loans, a marked improvement over the $20.8 million or 1.50 percent at Dec. 31, 1991. This improvement resulted in the reserve for loan losses as a percentage of nonperforming loans increasing at year end to 175 percent from 99 percent a year ago. Year end nonperforming assets similarly stood at their lowest level of the year at $39.1 million or 2.63 percent of loans plus foreclosed real estate compared with $40.4 million or 2.87 percent at Dec. 31, 1991.
 The fourth quarter saw the successful restructuring of the $6.5 million loan discussed at length in the 1991 Annual Report and each of 1992's Quarterly Reports. The restructured loan is secured, bears a market rate of interest, provides for the payments of principal and interest monthly and is personally guaranteed by the customer's principal officer-owner. The collateral securing the loan consists of assets of the customer as well as personal assets pledged by the principal officer-owner and is considered properly margined. The loan is maintained on an interest accruing-performing basis. As a part of the restructuring, the customer paid all interest and principal due on its entire indebtedness and agreed to reimburse First Midwest for all of its costs incurred in investigating and restructuring the loan. First Midwest incurred no loss on the original or restructured loan.
 In commenting on the quarter and year just ended, First Midwest President and Chief Executive Officer Robert P. O'Meara said, "We finished the year with a good quarter and made significant progress in a number of areas. We successfully pursued the identification and correction of problem loans and were able to reduce year end nonperforming loans to their lowest level in three years. While foreclosed real estate remained stubbornly high, progress was made during the year through both vigorous negotiation and litigation resulting in us now being in title or control of the preponderance of this real estate and permitting its marketing and liquidation.
 "Importantly, our core businesses demonstrated continued strength during the year. Loans increased over year earlier levels, not insignificant in an environment of problem loan correction, our own more stringent underwriting criteria and the economy of 1992. Margins expanded resulting in a tax equivalent net interest margin for the year of 4.75 percent as contrasted to last year's 4.49 percent. At the same time, other operating income showed good improvement primarily related to our mortgage and trust operations. Lastly, capital was further strengthened during the year resulting in stockholders' equity, tier one and total capital ratios at year end that rank us amongst the strongest capitalized companies."
 At $2.3 billion, First Midwest Bancorp is Illinois' fourth largest publicly traded bank holding company whose four banks and trust company operate 38 banking and six trust offices in northern Illinois.
 -0- 1/14/93
 /CONTACT: James Roolf of First Midwest Bancorp, 708-778-8700/
 /FIRST AND FINAL ADD -- TABULAR MATERIALS -- TO FOLLOW/
 (FMBI)


CO: First Midwest Bancorp, Inc. ST: Illinois IN: FIN SU: ERN

TS -- NY036 -- 4860 01/14/93 12:05 EST
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Date:Jan 14, 1993
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