Merger Rumors Spur Trading In Shawmut, Bank of Boston

Shares of Bank of Boston Corp. and Shawmut National Corp. were heavily traded Friday on rumors of a pending merger. Bank of Boston's stock price held steady as one million shares changed hands. Shawmut was up 50 cents to $10.50 in late afternoon trading on volume of 600,000 shares, double its daily average.

Rumors of merger talks between the two companies have been circulating for weeks. They intensified after the Financial News Network speculated Friday morning that a merger would be announced after the markets closed for the day.

Bank of Boston was apparently nettled by a crank caller who phoned several networks, identified himself as with the bank, and announced a press conference for 4:30 p.m. Friday.

A Bank of Boston spokeswoman said no press conference was scheduled and said the calls had not come from the bank.

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