NEW YORK - Republic National Bank of New York said on Friday that it has agreed to buy Mase Westpac Ltd., a gold bullion bank based in London.

The purchase price was not disclosed. Mase, a unit of Australia's struggling Westpac Banking Corp., is one of five London banks that set the price of gold there every day.

Republic National, with $18.5 billion of deposits, is owned by $36 billion-asset Republic New York Corp. The bank is an active trader of precious metals and a dealer of gold and silver in the retail markets.

Meanwhile, shareholders of Commerce Banc Corp. in Charleston, W.Va., approved the bank's merger with Huntington Bancshares of Columbus. Ohio. The stock swap deal, valued at about $155 million, is expected to close this quarter.

Also, Onbancorp's application to buy Franklin First Financial Corp., a thrift based in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.. was approved by state regulators in Pennsylvania and New York. Onbank is based in Syracuse, N.Y. The merger, valued at about $138.4 million, is expected to close this, quarter.

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