French banks BNP Paribas and Société Générale are interested in bidding for the 70% stake in Polish bank Zachodni that AIB is selling, French daily La Tribune reports today.

'BNP Paribas and Société Générale are looking at the dossier very seriously,' the paper said, citing several sources close to the matter.

Preliminary offers are expected to be submitted in mid-June and firm offers by end-August, ahead of a decision in September, it said.

According to the same sources, BNP Paribas appeared best placed to win the bidding. Zachodni has a market value of €3.7 billion.

AIB had no comment to make on the report this morning.

Polish Bank Zachodni WBK said last month that it doubled its net profit in the first quarter of the year. The results beat expectations due to lower provisions for bad loans.

It said it earned 233 million zlotys (€60m) in the three months from January to March.

Shares in AIB closed down 1% at €1.03 in Dublin.