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BROKERAGES MAY JOIN BACK OFFICES

Prudential-Bache Securities Inc. and Shearson Lehman Brothers Inc. Tuesday announced they are discussing combining their back-office data processing operations. The deal, which stands to cut costs for handling securities transactions, would allow for other securities firms to join, the brokerage firms said in statements.

Computer systems that provide research information and support for financial advisers would not be part of the deal. Back offices clear securities transactions, moving securities to the account of the purchaser and money to the account of the seller.

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