Singapore-based investment house Temasek Holdings sold its 3.8 per cent stake in Bank of America (BoA), taking a loss of around $3 billion in the process.
Temasek invested in $5 billion in Merrill Lynch during the early phase of the credit crisis in December 2007, and ended up with a stake in BoA when the US bank bought Merrill in January.
It injected another $900 million into Merrill last July and became its biggest shareholder, with a 13.7 per cent stake. It held 219.7 million shares in Merrill at the end of 2008.
This is part of the company's strategy to raise its long term Asia exposure, and add new exposures to other geographies, Temasek CEO Ho Ching said earlier this week.
Temasek has recently become more aggressive in the Asian market and is eyeing investments in Latin America and Russia.
The cash from the BoA stake sale partly allowed Temasek to subscribe to rights issues of Asia-focused Standard Chartered, Singapore's DBS and Indonesia's Bank Danamon.
This week it bought more shares in China Construction Bank from Bank of America.
Temasek's portfolio fell 31 per cent between March and November last year to $87 billion.
The global financial crisis has sent Temasek's portfolio value back three years to the level seen in March 2006, said Ms Ho in a note posted on Temasek's website on Thursday.
With a multinational staff of 350 people, Temasek manages a portfolio of over $134 billion, focused primarily in Asia and Singapore.
In February, the company expanded its India operations by setting up a regional office in Chennai.