Centura Banks Inc. said Thursday it has completed the purchase of five NationsBank Corp. branches in North Carolina.

The small-town offices have a combined $86 million of deposits and $52 million of loans. Four are in new markets for the bank; the fifth will be merged with an existing Centura branch.

"It appears Centura is focusing on the eastern part of their market," said Gray Medlin, managing director of Carson Medlin Co., an investment banking firm with offices in Raleigh, N.C., and Tampa, Fla. "It remains to be seen if this is a change in focus from their recent western expansion back to their roots in eastern North Carolina." Centura has $7.1 billion of assets.

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