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NationsBank buys in Fla.NationsBank Corp. said yesterday...


NationsBank buys in Fla.

NationsBank Corp. said yesterday it will buy 40-office CSF Holdings Inc. for $516 million, its second acquisition in the Miami area in the past two weeks.

The acquisition of CSF Holdings, the $4.7 billion-asset parent of Citizens Federal Bank, follows the June 26 purchase of 24-branch Intercontinental Bank of Miami for $208 million.

Once the CSF acquisition is completed, Charlotte, N.C.-based NationsBank's shares of Florida's banking market as measured by deposits will rise to 13 percent from 11.5 percent, according to SNL Securities Corp., making it the third-largest banking company in the state.

Criimi Mae finishes conversion

Criimi Mae Inc., a Rockville-based real estate investment trust, has completed a merger that converts the company into a self-managed REIT and an integrated mortgage company.

Criimi Mae acquired the mortgage businesses of CRI Inc., an investment firm that, through an affiliate, had served as the adviser to Criimi Mae and managed its mortgage investments.

Criimi Mae acquired CRI's loan origination, advisory services and mortgage servicing businesses in the merger. It will add these activities to its core business of investing in multifamily mortgages and investments backed by mortgages on multifamily housing and other commercial properties.

Pipe suit becomes class action

A rural judge has cleared the way for millions of homeowners nationwide to join a lawsuit filed in Alabama's poorest county over leaky plastic pipes.

Rejecting claims by Shell Oil Co. and Hoechst Celanese Corp. that Greene County, about 90 miles southwest of Birmingham, was not the proper place to hear the decade-old dispute, Circuit Judge Eddie Hardaway Jr. certified the case a nationwide class action.

Shell and Hoechst Celanese made materials that went into so-called PB plumbing systems. Thousands of lawsuits have been filed nationwide over the past decade claiming the systems sprang leaks when exposed to chlorine and other chemicals commonly found in tap water.

Trader in scandal investigated

Securities regulators are looking into whether the central figure in a trading scandal that resulted in college fund losses estimated at $128 million was even qualified for securities dealings.

The Pennsylvania Securities Commission said yesterday it is inquiring whether Kent Ahrens, a 39-year-old senior trader at First Capital Strategists, may have violated state law because he had not registered to trade securities or give investment advice. First Capital Strategists said yesterday that it had suspended Mr. Ahrens.

In Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, St. Mary's College, St. John's College and a foundation affiliated with the University of Maryland School of Law have invested millions of dollars in the Common Fund, First Capital's largest client.

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