RICHMOND, Va. -- The board of Signet Banking Corp. declared a 2-for-1 stock split.

The 100% stock dividend is to be paid July 27 to stockholders of record July 6.

On April 28, Signet announced a 33% increase in its regular cash dividend. With the split, the annual rate of $1.60 will fall to 80 cents.

"The action is expected to enhance the liquidity and broaden the distribution of our shares," said Robert M. Freeman, chairman and chief executive.

Signet's share price was up 25 cents Wednesday afternoon, at $55.875.

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