WASHINGTON - Banco Santander S.A. said it raised its stake in First Fidelity Bancorp. of New Jersey to 26.6%.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Spanish bank said it bought 823,740 common shares between Feb. 13 and March 6 at prices between $48.02 and $50.19. It now holds 21,385,653 shares.

As reported, Banco Santander received approval from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Jan. 17 to raise its stake to 30%.

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