Antitrust Issues Called Scant; No Delay Seen

While the merged NCNB and C&S/Sovran will be the biggest bank in five of the nine states where they have full-service banking subsidiaries, antitrust concerns are not expected to derail or delay the combination, market experts say.

Only in South Carolina would the merger result in their gaining a No. 1 market position that one of them does not already have.

NCNB units have the No. 1 market share in North Carolina and Texas; C&S/Sovran owns the leading banks in Georgia and Virginia.

C&S/Sovran has 17.4% of South Carolina's commercial bank deposits while NCNB controls 13.2%, according to Anthony Davis, an analyst at Wheat First Securities in Richmond, Va. Together they surpass the 27.1% of South Carolina National Bank.

Mr. Davis said a few parts of South Carolina might appear overly concentrated, which could raise a red flag under antitrust law, but he called them "literally insignificant."

C&S/Sovran is a major player in Maryland and the Washington area, but NCNB owns only a $300 million-asset thrift in Maryland.

Their combined market share in the Sunshine State, 13.5%, would come nowhere near the 24% of Barnett Banks Inc.

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