SCHAUMBURG, Ill. -- Announcements of mergers in financial sectors, including banking, exceeded those in other corporate categories in the third quarter, according to the business brokerage and valuation division of Merrill Lynch & Co.

Maintaining a longstanding lead, the banking-finance group accounted for 218 deals, up 74% from 125 in the period a year earlier. But the value of the announced transactions fell 23% to $13.4 billion, from $17.5 billion.

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