HOUSTON - Continuing to expand its east Houston holdings, Charter Bancshares has agreed to pay nearly $5 million for Texas Bank, Baytown.

The deal, expected to close in mid-1996, is the third in the past year for Charter in the east Houston market. The company gained its first Baytown branch by acquiring West Loop Savings and Loan last year and later took over La Porte State Bank.

Texas Bank, with $36 million in assets, was founded in 1971 as the Mont Belvieu State Bank, before moving its headquarters to Baytown more recently.

Houston-based Charter, with more than $750 million in assets, has been active in the merger and acquisitions market in recent months. Last month, it agreed to acquire Cypress National Bank, with $20 million of assets.

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