MINNEAPOLIS — U.S. Bancorp is offering stock options to its 50,000 employees, marking the completion of its merger with Firstar Corp. of Milwaukee.

The one-time grant is meant to rally the troops in the swift integration of the two banks and act as a catalyst to boost sales and profits. The merger deal, creating the eighth-largest U.S. banking company, with $160 billion of assets, closed Tuesday.

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