BUFFALO - First Empire State Corp. says its M&T Mortgage Corp. unit has agreed to acquire the mortgage servicing rights and origination franchise of Exchange Mortgage Corp., a full-service mortgage banking company based in Huntington Station, N.Y.

Formed in 1960, Exchange had total mortgage originations of about $177 million in 1994 and services a portfolio of about $370 million. It operates one retail office in Suffolk County, N.Y., and another in Queens, N.Y.

The acquisition is subject to approvals and customary conditions. It is anticipated the transaction will be completed in the fourth quarter, when Exchange's operations will become part of M&T Mortgage.

Together, M&T Bank and M&T Mortgage originated more than $850 million of residential mortgages in 1994. M&T Mortgage services a portfolio of $6.8 billion, consisting of nearly 100,000 households. It has retail offices throughout New York State and in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusetts, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. It also has a wholesale network in the Northeast.

First Empire is also the parent of East New York Savings Bank in New York City.

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WASHINGTON - A group of shareholders including TJS Partners said that Hamilton Financial Services Corp. should consider a sale of its assets to a third party.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the group, which holds a 5.88% stake, said it was dissatisfied with the company's performance and believed that an outright sale of the company would provide "maximum value" to shareholders.

In an Aug. 22 letter to the company's board, the group said it was confident that a third party could be found to acquire the company at a premium to its recent stock price, about $2.375.

Recently, two other shareholder groups have also expressed concern about the company's performance and have urged its sale.

- Dow Jones

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