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Good morning,

Chase Manhattan Corp. agreed to pay $1.35 billion cash for Hambrecht & Quist Group, giving the second-largest U.S. bank the stock underwriting business it has long sought.

Chase will pay $50 a share for Hambrecht & Quist, 22 percent more than yesterday's closing price of 41 1/16. Chase will also set aside $200 million in stock to retain key Hambrecht & Quist bankers. H&Q shares rose 7 11/16 to 48 3/4 in morning trading; Chase fell 1 to 73 1/8.

``It adds another arrow to the quiver of their services,' said Stephen Berman, senior equity analyst at Stein Roe & Farnham Inc., which owns about 800,000 Chase shares.

According to today's Bloomberg news, investors had speculated Chase would merge with a Wall Street investment bank such as Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. or Merrill Lynch & Co. Instead, it becomes the third East Coast commercial bank to buy a San Francisco-based investment bank in two years.

Click on the Quote box above and scroll down to the "news" link to read the full press release.

Keep Foolish and Prosper,

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Hi Guys from over the pond.
Hehehe, it was going to happen at some point, right?
I bought in a few months ago around the $36 level knowing of HQ's expansion plans here in the U.K.
I guess the question is, who's next.
Now that Robertson, Stephens & Montgomery Securities have gone, will it be one of the bigger houses like Bear, Stearns or Lehman Brothers? Jeffries even?
I was tempted to buy calls in both of them about 2 months ago but didn't quite feel right.
Views/suggestions most welcome.
FYI, email is:
[email protected]

Have a good one,
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