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BANKING

Playing the name game

How did Crédit Local de France and Crédit Communal de Belgique come to chose the name Dexia from over 100 suggestions, for their newly-merged banking group? "The name has been imagined by Bessis, which specializes in name conceptions," explains a spokesman at Crédit Communal de Belgique/ Dexia.

But does it have any relevance to the two banks? Some commentators are more reminded of Dixan, the down-market Italian washing-powder.

But in Greek, Dexia means right hand and has a secondary meaning of treaty or promise of fidelity, making it suitable for a merger company. The middle X, apparently, signifies "an intense partnership of two enterprises in equilibrium," says a spokesperson for Bessis, adding, "the X is the crucial centre point of the name's architecture." A further sense of balance comes, so the Bessis consultants say, from the masculine quality of "De" and the gentler feminine aspect of "ia".

In English it is but a short leap from Dexia, Euromoney is told, to dexterity which carries echoes of "positive concepts like competence, savoir-faire and modernity. Peter Lee

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