Leaked to the public three days earlier than planned, the engagement of Keycorp and Society Corp. is likely to go down as one of the worst-kept secrets in banking.

Rumors that Keycorp was about to enter into a merger of equals swirled through the market all day Friday. On the New York Stock Exchange, more than 340,000 shares of Keycorp changed hands, compared with an average 166,500.

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