By Saeed Azhar

DUBAI, Sept 8 (Reuters)Bahrain’s Bank ABC ABCB.BH said on Tuesday it was in preliminary talks to buy Blom Bank’s BLOM.BY Egyptian subsidiary, pitting it against Dubai’s Emirates NBD ENBD.DU which is also a potential bidder.

Blom has hired CI Capital to advise on a sale that could fetch $250 million to $300 million as the Lebanese lender tries to boost its capital, Reuters reported last month, citing two sources familiar with the deal.

Blom had approached potential bidders including Dubai’s biggest bank, Emirates NBD, the sources said. Emirates NBD confirmed on Aug. 13 it was interested.

HSBC HSBA.L is advising Bank ABC on the talks, two sources familiar with the deal told Reuters. HSBC declined to comment.

Lebanese banks are trying to strengthen their finances as the country endures its worst financial crisis since the civil war.

Blom’s domestic rival Bank Audi AUDI.BY tried

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