First Bancorp in Southern Pines, N.C., has redeemed about half of its shares in the Small Business Lending Fund.

The $3.2 billion-asset company on Thursday redeemed $32 million, or 32,000 shares, of the preferred stock it issued to the U.S. Treasury Department, according to a regulatory filing. The shares were redeemed at $1,000 per share, plus accrued dividends.

First Bancorp has 31,500 shares remaining in the SBLF program. It initially issued the SBLF shares in 2011.

First Bancorp did not provide a timetable for when it expects to redeem the remainder of its SBLF shares.

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