Continuing its selective buying in Florida, Wachovia Corp. said Monday that it has agreed to purchase Republic Security Financial Corp. of West Palm Beach for $344 million in stock.

Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Wachovia has been battling for market share in Florida with home-state rivals Bank of America Corp. and First Union Corp., both of Charlotte. Republic Security, which has assets of $3.4 billion and deposits of $2 billion, would be its largest purchase in the state and put it squarely behind Bank of America and First Union in the No. 3 spot in deposits in affluent Palm Beach County.

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