HFNC Financial Corp., one of the few independent midsize thrifts in North Carolina, may be acquired soon by Wachovia Corp., BB&T Corp., or First Citizens Bancshares, the Charlotte Observer reported Saturday.

Shares of the Charlotte-based HFNC Financial, parent of $895 million- asset Home Federal Savings and Loan Association, closed Friday at $16.63, the highest price since Sept. 15. More than 304,000 shares changed hands, compared with the daily average of 42,000.

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