Finance: Riding the Float

After Entero-Vioform and bottled water, the U.S. tourist's surest solace the world over is probably Manhattan's 112-year-old American Express Co. For the timid traveler, Amexco's 392 offices in 33 countries will shoulder every burden, from interpreting to selecting sights. Helping tourists pays off: two weeks ago. President Howard L. Clark, 46, announced Amexco's eighth dividend increase (from 30¢ to 35¢ a quarter) in ten years. At heart, however, Amexco is not really a tourist agency but a bank. The cornerstone of its prosperity is a curious nest egg called "the Float."

The Float stems from Amexco's estimated $2 billion-a-year sales...

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