Mum MNC facing new deadline


After passing one deadline for the repayment of its debt yesterday without announcing the outcome, MNC Financial Inc. was facing another payment today.

MNC, the state's largest bank-holding company and parent of Maryland National Bank, was scheduled to pay $271 million to holders of variable-rate renewable notes that came due today.

Yesterday the troubled bank-holding company was supposed to pay back a $375 million line of credit under the terms of an agreement with a syndicate of banks headed by Morgan Guaranty Trust Co. of New York.

However, MNC spokesman Daniel Finney declined to comment on the status of the Morgan debt yesterday.

MNC's stock fell by 12 1/2 cents yesterday, closing at $2 a share.

Stock analysts were also left in the dark as to MNC's plans. "We've just got to wait," said John A. Heffern, a bank analyst for Alex. Brown Inc., a Baltimore investment banking firm.

But there was a hopeful sign that the bank syndicate may have agreed to renegotiate the line of credit. John Morris, a spokesman for Morgan Guaranty, said it was incorrect to say that MNC had to repay the bank syndicate $375 million as of yesterday or get an extension. But he declined to give any more information, referring inquiries to MNC.

Besides today's and yesterday's payments, MNC must also pay another $275 million in notes due Feb. 5.

To cover some of its debt, MNC may be able to use the proceeds of the recently completed sale of Landmark Financial Services Inc., an MNC subsidiary, to Commercial Credit for about $369 million.

In another effort to raise cash, MNC has been trying to sell its credit-card division, MBNA America of Newark, Del., since October. About a month ago the company filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a public offering of MBNA. Such an offering could raise about $1 billion.

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