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More banks cut prime to 11 1/2

A new round of prime-rate cuts swept through the banking industry Monday, with Chase Manhattan Bank and more than a dozen others lowering the benchmark lending rate a quarter point to 11 1/2 percent.

The banks that made the move included Bank of America, Chemical Bank New York , Manufacturers Hanover, Irving Trust, First National Bank of Chicago, Bank of New York; United States Trust Company, Mellon Bank, Harris Trust & Savings Bank, Pittsburgh National Bank, First National Bank of Boston, Indiana National Bank, European American Bank, and Northern Trust Company.

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Morgan Guaranty Trust Company, Citibank, Bankers Trust, and Manufacturers Bank of Los Angeles lowered their rates to 11 1/2 percent two weeks ago.

The latest drop in the rate, which stood at a record 20 percent in April, reflected an easing of other key short-term interest rates. Economists have predicted the prime could decline to 10 percent soon.

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