In negotiating their $2 billion merger, the 10th-biggest announced in this record year for banking, the chief executives of Bank of Boston Corp. and BayBanks Inc. kept their eyes on the retail prize.

They saw their greatest opportunity for strategic consolidations and revenue growth in consumer banking, particularly in the Massachusetts markets where they overlap. And while Bank of Boston offers complementary strengths in the corporate and international arenas, it was the potential retail synergies that had analysts singing the deal's praises on Wednesday.

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