The first and largest federally chartered bank owned primarily by women has almost doubled its outstanding shares, while maintaining its women- owned status.

Of the 770,500 shares that Adams National Bank of Washington sold, nearly 54% went to female investors.

"We wanted to keep it that way for pride of ownership and as a marketing statement," said Barbara D. Blum, chief executive. "There's a lot of difference between saying 'we cater to women' and 'we are women.'"

The offering, conducted in the spring, raised $6.7 million and was oversubscribed by 100,500 shares. The new funds will be used primarily for expansion purposes; the $100 million-asset bank is looking for acquisition candidates in Maryland and Virginia, said Ms. Blum.

Making acquistions is "our No. 1 priority right now," she said. "We'd love to be able to do this the day after tomorrow, but there are many pieces to put into place."

Retaining its women-owned status was also important because it entitles the bank to certain corporate and government business. Adams National has about $5 million in deposits and $7 million in loans from these sources, which would've been lost without the special status.

Adams National also has a lease for its branch and two ATMs in Union Station, the city's main train station, that is contingent upon the bank maintaining its female ownership, said Alex Hart of Ferris, Baker Watts Inc., the Baltimore firm that underwrote the offering.

"That's a high-traffic location, so the loss of that lease would've been a little bit of a setback," Mr. Hart said.

The brokers were encouraged to market the stock to women and to men who would give it to their wives, daughters, or other female relatives, putting it in their names, officials said.

The issue was "the first one of this kind that I'm aware of that we've done," said Mr. Hart. "It was a unique duck in the general status of stock offerings."

The bank has begun work on a fourth full-service branch in the District, to be opened in the fall.

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