Chase Manhattan reported this morning that operating earnings for its credit card portfolio grew 11% during 4Q/99. The increase is attributable to improved credit quality. During 1999 charge-offs, as a percentage of average receivables, declined from 6.27% to 5.24%. Delinquencies (90+ day) also decreased from 2.17% to 1.92% last year. However, fourth quarter operating revenues declined 6%, due to lower yields and fees as a result of the improving credit quality of the portfolio, and as a result of higher interest rates. For the year, operating earnings were up 16% to $523 million. The increase in operating earnings reflects a two percent increase in revenue and improved credit quality due to lower consumer bankruptcies and enhanced collections performance. The cash return on managed assets for the full year was 1.45 percent. As of Dec. 31, average card receivables for Chase’s domestic and international accounts stood at $33.3 billion compared to $31.9 billion for year-end 1998. For more current and historical details on Chase Manhattan’s credit card portfolio visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).