CHARLOTTE, N.C. ( TheStreet) -- Bank of America ( BAC) shareholders on Tuesday agreed with the bank's decision to choose dilution over government ownership.

During a special meeting, shareholders approved a proposal to increase Bank of America's outstanding stock limit to 11.3 billion from the previous 10 billion ceiling. The bank needed to lift its outstanding-share count to issue new stock to raise capital in order to pay back TARP .

Investors representing about 80% of the company's shares voted on the proposal, with over 76% agreeing with the decision.

Bank of America had taken an unusual step to repay $45 billion worth of TARP funds in December, issuing 1.3 billion "common equivalent securities." Those securities will transfer into common stock now that shareholders approved the outstanding stock limit.

Bank of America shares were recently down 29 cents at $15.91.

-- Written by Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York.

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