Bank of Commerce in San Diego, Calif. announced this week a $7.5 million secondary stock issue that, if completed, would allow the $141 million-asset bank to list its stock on the Nasdaq National Market System.

Currently, the bank is among the so-called "pink-sheet" companies that are traded over the counter on the OTC Bulletin Board, but are not listed nationally.

These companies are commonly traded among local brokers, but with little if any national exposure.

To be listed nationally, companies need to meet certain criteria, including a specified number of shares outstanding and minimum capitalization.

The bank says the new issue will help it meet those criteria.

Bank of Commerce currently has 1,465,239 shares outstanding at a price on Sept. 6 of $13.50 per share.

The bank has authorization to issue up to 5 million shares of common stock but if the equity were issued today 5555,555 shares would be issued.

By being listed nationally, the bank said it hoped to increase its visibility and liquidity.

The company also plans to use the extra capital to expand its six offices further into its southwest base.

"The board of directors has determined that an increase in capital will allow the bank to take advantage of a number of expansion opportunities," said Peter Q. Davis, president and chief executive officer.

"These include the purchase of bank branches or other assets from institutions wishing to downsize and the purchase of closed or failed banks from the FDIC at a price far less than it would cost us to develop from internally generated asset growth," he said.

The bank currently operates offices in southern California and Arizona, and has a regulatory approval to open an office in Nevada.

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