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MERRILL LYNCH $125 MILLION SENIOR NOTES RATED 'AA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, Aug. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Merrill Lynch & Co. $125 million 6.375 percent senior notes, due Sept. 8, 2006 are rated 'AA' by Fitch. The notes are callable at par any time after 10 years upon 30-60 days notice to investor. The rating reflects increased credit strength due to a more stable revenue base with higher fee income, tighter expense controls despite expanding business volumes, and more tightly controlled credit and market risk positions, including principal risk-taking activities. The credit trend is stable.
 Merrill Lynch's profitability soared over the past 18 months, reflecting the company's significant market position within its institutional and retail franchises and an extremely favorable operating environment. Net earnings were a record $893.8 million with a return on equity reaching 22 percent in 1992. Net earnings continued at an even stronger pace for 1993's first half at $687.4 million and an annualized return on equity of roughly 30 percent. Client worldwide assets reached $502 billion at June 25, 1993, increasing roughly 12.6 percent since June 1992. The company's 1990 refocus on key core businesses and asset gathering, along with strong risk management practices has clearly paid off during this market environment and will help offset future profit declines in less favorable markets.
 The balance sheet benefits from a continued emphasis on conservative risk management and the prosperity of the past 18 months. Merrill's balance sheet is very liquid with more than 90 percent of its assets marked to market daily.
 -0- 8/27/93
 /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

WB -- NY059 -- 6753 08/27/93 16:31 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 27, 1993
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