Two Canadian banking companies on Wednesday announced agreements to buy discount brokerages.

Bank of Montreal said it is buying Burke, Christensen & Lewis Securities Inc. of Chicago for $45 million in cash. Burke Christensen would be combined with Harris Investors Direct Inc., the discount brokerage arm of Harris Bankcorp, a subsidiary of Bank of Montreal. The new unit, Harris/BCL-Investors Direct, would have $2.9 billion of assets under administration. The transaction is expected to close by yearend, pending regulatory approvals.

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