GBC Bancorp in Los Angeles said it plans to buy back as many as two million shares, or 16% of its outstanding shares.

The $1.7 billion-asset company said it would invite offers of $18 to $22 a share, and would use those offers to set a cash price.

GBC said it would repurchase the shares because they are undervalued. They had plummeted in March after an announcement that a $30 million loan to a Las Vegas casino had soured.

The buyback plan was announced Friday. GBC shares rose 11% that day, to $19.94, in heavy trading. The were trading at $19.875 at midday Tuesday.

The banking company also said Friday that it was negotiating to sell a property that had been the collateral for a nonperforming $12.6 million loan. The borrower has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, GBC said; the sale is to be completed in the third quarter.

GBC, which owns General Bank, operates 16 branches in California and loan production offices in Seattle and New York.

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