After announcing a large in-market deal last week, First Charter Corp. in North Carolina says it is ready to expand outside the Charlotte region. But to do that, the company might have to convince investors that it hasn't bitten off more than it can chew.

Concord-based First Charter announced last week it would buy Carolina First BancShares for $260 million in stock. The deal would create the state's eighth-largest banking company and move it to fifth in deposit-share in metropolitan Charlotte.

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