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FNB Corp. expects to close Yadkin deal in Q1

F.N.B. Corp. management said they expect the bank's acquisition of Yadkin Financial Corp. to close in the first quarter but did not offer additional specifics when asked. Separately, bank management provided guidance on income and expenses and said business sentiment has improved but has not yet showed up in greater credit utilization.

Speaking during the bank's call to discuss 2016 fourth-quarter and full-year results, executives said the Yadkin deal will make the combined company a major player in strong markets such as Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Washington D.C. and Charlotte. The combined bank's position as a top 10 deposit share in some of those markets should allow it to lead syndications and structure derivative transactions.

Management said they expect full-year net interest income and non-interest income to increase in 2017, somewhat offset by higher non-interest expenses stemming from merger charges. Executives said the Federal Reserve's rate hike in December 2016 will increase the bank's net interest margin by between 2 basis points and 3 basis points in the first quarter, which the bank has included in its guidance.

And on the post-election environment, management said sentiment has improved but that it has yet to translate to increased use of credit. In fact, management said the bank's credit utilization rate declined in the 2016 fourth quarter, an unexpected result given stronger business sentiment.