Morgan Stanley plans to close offices and cut several hundred staff members in its residential mortgage area but says it remains committed to the business.The company said it plans, on a net basis, to reduce U.S. positions by 500 and European posts by 100, including 90 in its U.K. mortgage subsidiary, Advantage. In addition, the Wall Street firm's three stand-alone businesses are slated to be combined into one integrated mortgage company with four centrally managed business channels: servicing, conduit, wholesale, and retail. The company can be found on the Web at http://www.morganstanley.com.

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