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South State sees strong growth prospect after growing C&I loans 31% in Q4'16

South State Corp. executives said they are seeing better sentiment in their markets and strong organic loan growth opportunities in 2017.

"What we're hearing from our customers is a lot of optimism," company CEO Robert Hill Jr. said during the company's Jan. 27 earnings conference call. Executives said during the call that the company grew its loan book by 9% during the fourth quarter of 2016, including a 31% growth in its commercial and industrial segment. "The business activity, the business pipeline, the loan pipeline, it feels very good," he added.

The company reported fourth-quarter 2016 net income of $24.2 million, or $1.00 per share.

Hill also said that the company was continuing the integration of its deal for Southeastern Bank Financial Corp., which closed Jan. 3. He said the systems conversion is planned for February and that South State has built a growth platform after crossing the $10 billion asset threshold which subjects the bank to more stringent regulatory requirements.