First Virginia Banks Inc.'s board has approved the repurchase of as many as 2.5 million additional common shares.

First Virginia said the repurchased shares will be used for various employee stock plans, mergers, and acquisitions, and for other general corporate purposes.

The shares represent about 7.5% of outstanding shares.

The company began a 2.7 million-share stock repurchase program in June 1994. That plan is almost completed.

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