Amadeusz Juskowiak

American express studies options for shearson

American Express Co AXP rumoured to be considering a spinoff of part of Shearson Lehman Brothers Inc said it is studying ways to improve Shearsons access to capital and help it meet stiffer international competition

In a joint statement American Express and the brokerage unit said the actions under consideration are an integral part of American Expresss worldwide financial services strategy The statement also said American Express and Shearson have been having both internal and external discussions on the matter but no final decision has been reached

American Express said in its statement it would not comment on the rumours circulating on Wall Street last week

Analysts said there was speculation that American Express would sell a stake of Shearson to a Japanese firm and also that 20 pct of the profitable brokerage would be sold to the public Shearson contributed 316 mln dlrs of American Expresss 125 billion dlrs net in 1986

American Express remained silent last Thursday and Friday as rumours drove its stock up a total of 550 dlrs in two days It closed Friday at 74