) --


(BBT) - Get Report

is interested in expanding its presence in Texas, specifically through acquisitions.

Speaking at the BankAnalysts Association of Boston Conference on Friday, CEO Kelly King noted that the Southern-regional bank is looking to buy a bank with at least $3 billion in assets, according to



"We hope we can find some partner,"


cited King as saying during the presentation. "It is really, really tough to grind out growth on an organic basis."

BB&T remained one of the strongest and profitable banks throughout the crisis.

The report also cited King as saying the firm is likely to make a small

dividend raise

in the near future.

BB&T's last significant bank acquisition was last year when it acquired troubled franchise

Colonial Bank

of Montgomery, Ala. Colonial had several dozen branches located in Texas and put the traditional Southeast bank on the map in Texas.

Banks have been eyeing Texas as one state where consolidation is likely to take place, given the plethora of small banks located there with exposure to commercial real estate as well as the influx of wealth into the state by immigrants.

Public trading companies with headquarters in Texas that are at least $3 billion in assets include


(CMA) - Get Report


Cullen Frost

(CFR) - Get Report


Prosperity Bancshares

(PRSP) - Get Report


Sterling Bancshares (SBIB)


Southside Bancshares

(SBSI) - Get Report

, among others.

Banks stocks in general surged over the past two days as the

Federal Reserve

gets ready to provide banks with capital guidelines for increasing payouts to shareholders. Earlier this week, the Fed said it is also going to be repurchasing $600 billion in bonds to stimulate the economy.

BB&T shares surged 5.7% to $25.58 on more than double the average trading volume on Friday.

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Laurie Kulikowski


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