Metropolitan Federal Savings and Loan Association has rejected a merger offer from the Savings Bank of Baltimore, but officials of the Bethesda S&L said late last week they will continue to pursue other proposals that could result in its being acquired.

Robert J. McCarthy, Metropolitan Federal's president, said his association is discussing merger possibilities with several financial institutions, but he declined to identify them. He said potential merger partners include insurance companies and banks, as well as other S&Ls and savings banks.

Although Metropolitan Federal is the largest federally chartered stock savings and loan association in Maryland, it is approaching merger talks primarily with the aim of being acquired, McCarthy said.

McCarthy said Metropolitan Federal's directors rejected a merger proposal by the Savings Bank of Baltimore because the latter's offer of $30 a share for the S&L's stock was inadequate. Metropolitan Federal's stock is trading around $24 a share.

Directors further rejected the offer based on their assessment of asset strength, branch structure, prospects and prices paid in mergers involving other financial institutions, McCarthy said.

Directors of the S&L appointed a committee in January to monitor informal discussions or serious negotiations resulting from overtures from several financial institutions, McCarthy said.

"Although no offer is under consideration by the board of directors at this time, as a matter of policy, the board has directed its committee to enter into discussions which may lead to an advantageous merger in the future," McCarthy said in a statement.