Rocky is back and this time, he's taking on...banks?

Sylvester Stallone, star of the Rocky and Rambo flicks, recently revealed his ownership of 7.1% of the stock of New Jersey's Yardville National Bancorp, Hamilton Township.

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Stallone purchased the stock "for investment purposes."

Mr. Stallone originally purchased some of the stock in June 1993 in a private offering by the bank to raise capital to comply with a 1991 formal agreement with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

The actor bought additional shares in June of this year at $13 per share during a public offering, bringing his stake over the 5% mark and requiring the SEC filing.

The 165,100 shares are owned by the actor and an investment company he owns, White Eagle Enterprises of New Jersey Inc. Mr. Stallone owns about 23,100 shares directly; White Eagle owns 71,000 shares and 71,000 warrants for shares.

Although bank officials have met with Mr. Stallone's advisers, they have not met the actor himself.

"He's welcome, but I don't think he's ever going to come to the bank," said president and chief executive Patrick M. Ryan.

"At this point," he added, "it's done pretty well for him."


Common Cents, a New York charity that raises money in one-penny increments, thought it had its most recent penny-harvesting drive in the bag - until a government snafu left Common Cents with nowhere to put thousands upon thousands of pennies.

The charity had collected 30,000 penny sacks from New York area banks to store the money collected from an ambitious campaign involving 15 New York City High Schools.

But just as the program was about to begin, someone from the General Services Administration, which manages the building where the penny sacks were being kept, took a peak in a storage room and decided that 30,000 canvas sacks in one place was a fire hazard. They were all destroyed, without prior notification to Common Cents.

Theodore Gross, a playwright who started Common Cents in 1991, raising more than half a million dollars since that time, said the situation is desperate.

"We're asking banks to donate penny sacks," he said. "We're hoping to raise several hundred thousand dollars in pennies, and we need somewhere to put them."

Mr. Gross said the organization, run entirely through the volunteer efforts of inner-city high school students, could also use penny counters or any other spare equipment lying in the back office. Call 212-PENNIES.

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