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MIDWEST-BASED SECURITIES FIRMS FORESEE 1993 EQUALING OR TOPPING RECORD 1992

 CHICAGO, March 30 /PRNewswire/ -- A great majority of Midwest-based regional securities firms expect 1993 to exceed or match last year's record revenues, William J. Lawlor III, chairman of the Securities Industry Association (SIA) Central States District, said today as the SIA opened its 15th Regional Firms Conference.
 Reporting on an SIA Central States District survey of brokerage firms headquartered in key Midwestern cities, Mr. Lawlor said 84 percent of responding chief executive officers expect to top or equal last year's record results -- with 52.6 percent expecting 1993 revenues to increase and 31.6 percent to match 1992. The remaining 15.8 percent of survey respondents anticipate lower revenues this year.
 "The successes of last year are hard to repeat, let alone exceed," Mr. Lawlor noted, citing that 80 percent of firms answering the survey reported record revenues and greatly increased profitability in 1992. Midwest regional firms surveyed averaged 51 percent higher revenues and 120 percent higher profits in 1992 than in 1991.
 "This year has started off well for 68 percent of responding firms," Mr. Lawlor said, "with revenues up an average of 22 percent in the year- to-date compared to the like period of 1992." Included were a few firms with soaring revenue gains of 30 percent, 32 percent, to 90 percent. However, revenues were down an average of 10 percent (YTD) for 32 percent of respondents. The survey was conducted in early to mid-March.
 Although regional firms were evenly split on the question of whether clients' confidence in the economic outlook has improved or not, one CEO said investors showed more willingness to buy equities. "This observation is borne out in survey reports that clients have continued to move money out of CDs and money market funds into stocks and have stepped up purchases of equity mutual funds as well," Mr. Lawlor said.
 Buying of tax-exempt investments has also accelerated -- substantiating the widespread belief among responding firms that President Clinton's tax and deficit program will increase municipal bond investments. CEOs said clients are already shifting capital to tax advantaged investments.
 Another excellent year is in prospect for the industry's capital raising activities, according to survey respondents. Three-quarters of the firms thought that 1993 could exceed or match 1992's record issuance of stocks and bonds -- $1.8 trillion raised for businesses and government at all levels. Specifically, 45 percent thought 1993 would exceed last year and 30 percent predicted it could match 1992. Only 25 percent looked for a downturn.
 Despite optimism about the capital markets, respondents were split 50 percent-50 percent on whether President Clinton's program would impact capital-raising activities in a positive or negative way. Half foresee a negative impact with corporate debt and equity offerings affected most; the other half think the Clinton program will have positive impact, especially on issuance of equities and municipal bonds.
 The SIA Regional Firms Conference opened here today at the Four Season Hotel for two days of meetings on the theme "Strategies for the New Competitive Environment."
 The ten-state SIA Central States District encompasses Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Chairman Lawlor is first vice president of Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co. Incorporated, Chicago.
 The SIA is the securities industry's trade association representing the business interests of nearly 700 securities brokers and investment banking firms in the United States and Canada. Collectively, they account for more than 90 percent of securities activity in North America.
 -0- 3/30/93
 /CONTACT: Betty Rubin or Art Samansky of the Securities Industry Association at the SIA Registration Desk, 312-649-2326/


CO: Securities Industry Association ST: Illinois IN: FIN SU: ECO

GK-TS -- NY057 -- 1096 03/30/93 13:37 EST
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Date:Mar 30, 1993
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