The Middle Eastern investors who are buying Financial General Bankshares Inc. yesterday extended their offer for the company's stock by 10 days in hopes of picking up as many FGB shares as possible.

As of yesterday morning, the buyers have purchased 91 percent of the common stock of Financial General, the company that owns the First American Banks in the Washington area, and several other banks.

The new buyers already have effective control of the $2.3 billion bank holding company, said Robert A. Altman, a Washington lawyer who has been named president and director of FGB. He described the extension as a "routine" effort to give stockholders a few more days to sell their stock to his clients.

The original deadline for Financial General stockholders to accept the $33.80 a share officer was yesterday; now it is 10 a.m. April 19.

Altman declined to say when his clients will take control of Financial General, but company officials expect the new owners to move in within the next two weeks.

Financial General is being purchased by FGB Holdings Inc., which is controlled through a chain of companies by three Middle Eastern investors: Kamal Adham, former chief of intelligence for Saudi Arabia; Faisal Saud al-Fulaij, former president of Kuwait's national airline; and Abdullah Darwaish, financial advisor to the royal family of Abu Dhabi.

The buyers have not announced what they plan to do about any minority shareholders who reject their tender offer and decide to hold onto their shares.