The Federal Reserve Board has given North Fork Bancorp. permission to acquire up to 9.9% of Long Island Bancorp.

In an April 13 order, the Fed rejected Long Island Bancorp.'s argument that Melville, N.Y.-based North Fork is illegally engaged in the business of taking minority stakes in banks. Instead, the Fed reiterated past rulings that such investments are legal, provided they get prior approval from the central bank.

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