East West Bancorp Inc. in Pasadena, Calif., which has raised $168.9 million of common equity in the past several weeks, is trying to bring in more.

The $12.7 billion-asset company said Monday it had begun a public offering of 11 million common shares. The underwriter has an option to buy another 1.65 million shares.

A price had not been set.

Recently East West, which posted a larger-than-expected loss of $115.7 million for the second quarter, has raised capital through a private placement of common stock, a conversion of preferred shares to common ones, and a desecuritization of mortgages it had originated. These steps had the combined effect of boosting the company's tangible common equity ratio to 7.25%.

East West shares fell 4% Monday, to close at $6.72 each.

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