LONDON - HSBC Holdings PLC said its aggregate interest in Midland Bank PLC has risen to 17.74%, from 14.62%, since it announced merger talks with Midland March 17.

HSBC said the latest total includes about 0.87% of Midland's share capital that had been tendered by June 9 in response to HSBC's friendly takeover bid. It also noted that it has bought 17.7 million Midland shares, or 2.25% of Midland's capital, in the open market.

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