NEW YORK -- In a sign of continuing merger and acquisition activity, 164 financial organizations changed their names in the first half of 1994, up by 21, or 15%, from the fast half of 1993, a corporate identity consulting firm said.

Anspach Grossman Portugal, the New York-based firm that tracks name changes, said the financial industry - broadly defined to include both depository and nonbank intermediaries - accounted for 29% of the 566 changes in the fast half, ahead of all other industries. The industrial and manufacturing category came next, at 18%.

Among those in the financial category were Green Point Savings Bank's adoption of GP Financial Corp. when it went public; Primerica Corp.'s taking the identity of its acquisition, Travelers Corp.; and the Midwest Stock Exchange's becoming the Chicago Stock Exchange.

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