Goldman Sachs sells stake in China's ICBC for $1 bn

US banking giant Goldman Sachs Group Inc has raised approximately $1 billion by selling most of its stake in China's largest lender Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC), Dow Jones Business News reported yesterday, citing two direct sources.

Goldman Sachs sold 1.35 billion shares of the Beijing-based ICBC in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in a block deal for HK$5.77 (74 US cents) a share, representing a 3-per cent discount to the bank's  Monday closing price of HK$5.95 a share, the sources said.

Further to the news, shares in ICBC slipped 2.3 per cent to HK$5.81 on Tuesday morning in Hong Kong.

Goldman Sachs, which acquired a 4.9-per cent stake in the Chinese bank for around $2.6 billion in 2006, ahead of the bank's initial public offering, has been slowly selling its shares, benefiting from the Chinese bank's rising share price, and so far raising approximately $8.6 billion.

After offloading its holding at least five times including the latest offer, the US bank still holds a small stake in the Chinese lender.

In April, Goldman Sachs sold around 1.3-per cent stake in ICBC for $2.5 billion or HK$5.05 a share to Singapore's sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings, following the loss reported by its Asia unit in 2011, the US bank's first loss since 2008. In 2011, Goldman Sachs' wrote down $1 billion on account of its ICBC investment.