Dime Community Bancshares, Brooklyn, N.Y., has announced plans to buy Financial Bancorp in nearby Long Island City for about $74 million.

Dime, which has $1.6 billion of assets, would pay about $40.50 a share- or 2.6 times book value-for Financial. The deal, which Dime plans to finance half in stock and half in cash, would boost Dime's assets to about $2 billion.

Financial is the parent of Financial Federal Savings Bank, a 51-year-old thrift with five branches in the New York City boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn. The five branches would be merged into Dime's thrift subsidiary, Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh.

The deal, expected to close in late 1998 or early 1999, would be Dime's second in-market transaction in two years. In June 1996 it bought Conestoga Bancorp of Roslyn, N.Y.

Dime now operates 14 branches in Nassau County, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.

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