ST. LOUIS - Roosevelt Financial Group Inc. and Mutual Mortgage Corp., Kansas City, entered into an agreement to form a strategic alliance to market mortgage loans in the Kansas City area.

Such alliances have been increasingly popular in the past year as lenders seek ways to make up for sharp declines in volume.

In a joint announcement, the companies said Thomas J. Rosberg, president of Mutual Mortgage, would remain president and majority stockholder of the new company, called Roosevelt Mortgage, and become a stockholder in Roosevelt Financial Group.

Under terms of the deal, Roosevelt Financial will assume an equity interest of less than 30% in Mutual Mortgage in exchange for cash, a company spokesman said.

Mutual Mortgage is a private mortgage brokerage in Overland Park, Kan. Its total mortgage loan closings in the last three years have been more than $500 million.

Roosevelt Financial said it would continue to pursue other opportunities to expand its retail banking operations in Kansas City.

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ST. LOUIS - Boatmen's Bancshares said it had completed the previously announced acquisition of Memphis-based National Mortgage Co.

Boatmen's exchanged about five million shares of its common stock for the privately owned mortgage banking company. With Boatmen's shares trading at about $30.50, the deal was worth about $153 million.

In recent months, commercial banks have been eagerly acquiring mortgage assets, attracted by relatively low valuations and the possibility of cross-selling opportunities.

The banking company also closed a previously announced merger with Dalhart (Tex.) Bancshares in a deal valued at about $21 million.

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