Bahraini lender Bank ABC is planning to buy the Egyptian business of Blom Bank, Reuters reported citing sources familiar with the matter.

Bank ABC is reportedly in preliminary talks to acquire the Egyptian unit.

Blom has appointed CI Capital to advise on the sale. A successful deal could fetch as much as $250-300m, the report added.

The sale is said to be part of Blom Bank’s plan to boost its capital.

The lender has already approached potential buyers including Emirates NBD.

Blom Bank’s Egypt business operates 41 branches with EGP2bn ($126m) in paid-up capital. The bank has reported a 77% decline in 2019 net profits.

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Banks in Lebanon are eyeing to strengthen their balance sheets as the country grapples with a major financial crisis.

Gulf deals

Recently, a report said that UAE’s First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) is planning to resume talks to acquire Bank Audi’s Egyptian business.

The bank had halted the talks in May due to Covid-19-related uncertainties.

Last week, FAB also reportedly began talks with Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi to form cooperation in the financial sector as UAE and Israel normalised their diplomatic ties.

This comes close on the heels of Bank Leumi entering into preliminary discussions with Emirates NBD to forge a partnership after the peace deal.

Last month, Blom Bank said it is considering selling its Egyptian business for up to $300m.

In the same month, a report said that Dubai government-owned Emirates NBD is planning to buy the assets of Bank Audi Egypt, as well as the assets of Lebanon’s Blom Bank.