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DIRECTORS OF FIRST BANCORPORATION OF OHIO APPROVE 2-FOR-1 STOCK SPLIT, INCREASE CASH DIVIDEND BY 9 PERCENT

 AKRON, Ohio, Aug. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The Board of Directors of First Bancorporation of Ohio (NASDAQ: FBOH) today approved both a 2-for-1 split of its common stock and a 9 percent increase in the cash dividend to $0.235 per share.
 The 2-for-1 stock split will be the multi-bank holding company's first stock split since 1986, when a 3-for-2 split was distributed. It will double First Bancorporation's outstanding stock to approximately 25.2 million shares.
 With the increase, the indicated annualized dividend rate is now $0.94 per share, compared with the previous rate of $0.86 per share, adjusted to give effect to the 2-for-1 stock split. The previous dividend rate had been paid since the 1992 fourth quarter.
 The boost in the cash payout also continues an unbroken 47-year record of annual dividend increases to shareholders. First Bancorporation has increased the cash dividend every year since the holding company was formed in 1981, maintaining the record begun in 1947 by its lead bank, First National Bank of Ohio.
 The increased cash dividend will be paid Sept. 13, 1993, to shareholders of record Aug. 30, 1993. The same record date applies to the stock split, and issuance of certificates will occur on Sept. 27, l993.
 Howard L. Flood, First Bancorporation's president and chief executive officer, said that today's action indicates both the holding company's demonstrated earnings strength as well as confidence about its future.
 "All seven of our subsidiaries are turning in solid performances, and we expect them to continue doing so," Flood explained.
 "Our balance sheet is strong, as are our capital and reserve accounts," he continued. "We also note the strength of our lending portfolio as our asset quality continues to improve.
 "As a consequence, we believe this is the right time for our shareholders to realize added financial benefits of their ownership in the company."
 First Bancorporation consists of six wholly owned banking subsidiaries in Ohio and a trust company headquartered in Naples, Fla. For the 1993 first half, First Bancorporation's earnings increased 13 percent to $27.4 million or $2.18 per share and total assets grew to more than $3.9 billion as of June 30.
 Its Ohio subsidiaries include First National Bank of Ohio, The Old Phoenix National Bank of Medina, Elyria Savings & Trust National Bank, Peoples Federal Savings Bank-Wooster, The First National Bank in Massillon and Peoples Savings Bank-Ashtabula. These affiliates are located in Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Knox, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, Richland, Stark, Summit and Wayne counties. Bancorp Trust Company, N.A., headquartered in Naples, is located in Collier and Lee counties in Florida.
 -0- 8/19/93
 /CONTACT: Dixie Vinez of First Bancorporation of Ohio, 216-384-7068; or Stanley L. Ulchaker of Edward Howard & Co., 216-781-2400, for First Bancorporation of Ohio/
 (FBOH)


CO: First Bancorporation of Ohio ST: Ohio IN: FIN SU: DIV

AR -- CL014 -- 4409 08/19/93 14:45 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 19, 1993
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