BUSINESS : Chase Hikes Prime Rate to 11.5%

From Times staff and wire service reports

Chase Manhattan Bank today raised its prime lending rate, charged to its best customers, to 11.5% from 11.0%, effective Friday. Chase announced the hike shortly after the stock market closed for the day.

The move by the nation's second largest bank followed sharp increases in money market interest rates, which represent the cost of funds to the banks. Major banks last raised the prime, charged to their best customers, by a half-point on Feb. 10.

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