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The deal is expected to be announced Monday, according to CNBC’s website, which cited anonymous sources “close to the situation.”

The transaction could make Sprint, the third-largest U.S. mobile phone company, a tougher competitor against its bigger rivals, Verizon Wireless and AT&T. Sprint has 56 million subscribers, about half the amount of Verizon Wireless, the leading provider.

Softbank will buy $8 billion in shares from Sprint and another $12 billion from current Sprint shareholders, the CNBC report said.

BANKS

Profits soar at Wells Fargo, JPMorgan, America’s two largest mortgage lenders

NEW YORK — Is the mortgage market really back?

The country’s two biggest mortgage lenders, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase, reported Friday that a surge in home lending pushed them to record profits.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon declared that the housing market “has turned the corner.” Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf said that “every quarter, we have more confidence.”

Wells said it issued $139 billion in mortgages from July through September, compared with $89 billion in the same period last year. JPMorgan wrote $47 billion in mortgages, compared with $37 billion last year.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports