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M&T BANK PLANS BIG PURCHASE OF ITS STOCK

M&T Bank announced that it is buying back up to 3.5 million shares of its stock or 3.6 percent of outstanding shares.

The additional shares are being purchased in the event that executives exercise outstanding stock options granted under M&T's 1983 stock option plan.

If the executives exercise those options, the bank can give them the repurchased shares instead of issuing new ones, which could dilute the stock's worth. In addition, repurchasing shares generally boosts the stock price.

M&T bought back nearly 2 million shares between November 1999 and this June. M&T has 97 million shares outstanding and 56,515 shares held as treasury stock.

M&T Bank is headquartered in Buffalo with branches in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia.

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