United Community Financial Corp. in Youngstown, Ohio, said Wednesday that it raised about $2 million from selling 1.6 million shares of common stock to an unnamed investor.

The parent of the $2.1 billion-asset Home Savings and Loan Co. said in a press release that the stock was priced at $1.35 a share. The investor, which did not previously own any United Community securities, now has about 4.9% of the company's outstanding common shares.

Patrick Bevack, United Community's president and CEO, said that the stock sale was another step in the company's capital plan. United Community raised $4.5 million from selling select investment securities in October. It also expects to earn $4 million from selling four branches in the western part of Ohio to a unit of Croghan Bancshares Inc. That deal is expected to close this month.

United Community has been struggling with bad loans and assets. In November it reported for the third quarter $134.1 million in nonperforming loans, down 6% from a year earlier, and $172.4 million in nonperforming assets, a drop of 5.8% from a year earlier.

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