Norwest Corp. will ask shareholders to approve an increase in common stock that would more than double total authorized shares to 1 billion, according to preliminary proxy materials filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The increase "will better enable the corporation to meet its future needs and give it greater flexibility in responding quickly to advantageous business opportunities," the company said. Officials declined to specify how they would use the additional shares.

Norwest has made more than 40 acquisitions with stock since April 1993, the last time shareholders authorized an increase in common stock. The bank last split its stock in June 1993, issuing one share for every share held.

As of Dec. 31, it had 370.3 million shares outstanding.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.