BankAtlantic Bancorp Inc. is turning to the open market to build up its capital war chest.

The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., company last week filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise up to $125 million of common equity this year. BankAtlantic did not disclose when it intends to launch an offering.

That capital would support BankAtlantic's bank unit. Although it was well capitalized at the end of the second quarter, the bank has had significant credit losses and still has a high level of nonperforming assets.

As of June 30, its tangible common equity ratio was 1.34%. Analysts typically view a ratio below 5% as troublesome.

The $4.7 billion-asset BankAtlantic already has raised capital twice in the past year.

In September 2009, BankAtlantic completed a $75 million rights offering. In July of this year, existing shareholders invested an additional $20 million in the company.

BankAtlantic also is trying to harvest capital by selling its operations in Tampa.

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