WARSAW (Reuters) - Polish lender Alior <ALRR. WA>, backed by the region's top insurer PZU <PZU. WA>, is interested in buying local rival BGZ <BGZ. WA> from its Dutch parent Rabobank <RABO. UL> in a deal that could be worth some $1.2 billion (749.2 million pounds), market sources told Reuters.
Rabobank said in June it was reviewing its options for BGZ, but has not officially put its 98-percent stake up for sale. That has not stopped several banks from queuing up for a possible bid.
Earlier this week UniCredit's <CRDI. MI> chief executive said it had made a preliminary offer via its Pekao <PEO. WA> unit.
Sources have told Reuters that France's BNP Paribas <BNPP. PA> and Spain's Banco Santander <SAN. MC> were also circling BGZ.
"In addition to this trio, Alior and PZU are also involved," one person familiar with the situation said. Another person close to the talks confirmed Alior and PZU's interest.
Alior, PZU, and BGZ declined to comment.
While some troubled foreign lenders have unloaded Polish holdings to boost their capital positions, others are keen to strengthen their place in the biggest eastern European economy.
(Reporting by Marcin Goclowski and Adrian Krajewski; Writing by Chris Borowski; Editing by Michael Perry)