Pamrapo Bancorp's stock dropped nearly 12% the day the $363 million-asset thrift said it had bought back all its largest shareholder's stock, for $6.6 million.

Robert A. Hughes, a vice president, declined to speculate on why the news had that effect. He said the deal was part of Pamrapo's plan to reduce excess capital.

The stock's trading price dropped March 14, the day the repurchase from Roger Conlan was announced, from $23.50 to $20.75. The shares closed at $21.25 Monday and Tuesday and $20 Wednesday.

"We have been buying our stock back for the last several years," Mr. Hughes said. "When a block this size came to our attention, we were interested in acquiring it."

He said Pamrapo paid Mr. Conlan $23.50 a share. The 278,900 shares represented 8.84% of common stock outstanding at the time.

Pamrapo went public in 1989 at $11.50 per share.

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