City File: NationsBank

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THE STOCK that most US analysts follow is not IBM or General Motors but NationsBank, the fast-growing owner of London stockbroker Panmure Gordon. According to the prestigious Nelson's Guide to Institutional Research, the North Carolina-based bank is watched by 78 analysts at 58 research firms around the US.

Second place went to another banking group, Banc One, from Ohio. IBM came 12th with GM falling outside the top 20.

Nations, which counts London institutions among its shareholders, aims to be the number one bank in the US before too long. It recently bought Chicago Research and Trading, one of the world's largest options market-making and trading firms. The bank's London office and Panmure will link up in new premises in August.