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MERRILL LYNCH $25 MIL. CURRENCY PROT. NOTES RATED 'AA-' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Merrill Lynch & Co.'s (NYSE: MER) $25 million currency protected notes due Dec. 31, 1998 are rated `AA-' by Fitch. The credit trend is stable.
 The currency protected notes will be repayable at 100 percent of the principal amount at maturity. Interest payments will be a minimum of 3 percent plus a supplemental amount of interest based on the decline, if any, in the average 6 month Canadian bankers' acceptance rate. These notes rank pari passu with all other senior debt securities of the company.
 The ratings reflect increased evidence of improving credit strength due to a more stable revenue base with increased fee income, tighter expense control despite expanding business volumes, reduced principal risk taking activities and more tightly controlled credit and market risk positions.
 The company continues to report strong earnings across all business lines. The company's 1992 net earnings were a record $893.8 million, including $85.6 million of accounting changes. 1992's record earnings represented a 28.4 percent increase from 1991's record earnings. First quarter 1993's net earnings were also a record at $342 million, up 57 percent from a year ago. While earnings are not necessarily sustainable at these levels, they should be better protected from market activity declines.
 Merrill Lynch continues to maintain substantial liquidity at the parent company as well as its operating subsidiaries. Term funding maturities have been lengthened and liquidity is well managed while leverage has been controlled.
 -0- 6/30/93
 /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

MP -- NY043 -- 7152 06/30/93 12:17 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 30, 1993
Words:282
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Fitch Ratings assigns 'AA-' rating to Fifth Third Bancorp's senior notes.

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