Goldman Sachs seeks to raise $1 billion from sale of stake in ICBC

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

New York, NY, United States (4E) – Goldman Sachs is planning to sell $1bn stake in Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) after the Chinese lender’s stock price bounced back almost 50 per cent from last year’s bottom.

Sources say that the U.S. company is putting up for sale its shares with the Hong Kong-listed company in a block trade at HK$5.77 ($0.74) per share, without indicating the number of shares. The selling price is at 3.0 per cent discount to ICBC’s HK$5.95 closing price on Monday’s trade.

The world’s biggest lender by market value saw its stock price rise by 8 per cent this year and around 15 per cent since April when Goldman Sachs’s private equity funds sold to Singapore-based Temasek Holdings Pte its $2.5bn stake.

Goldman and its funds will have raised more than $7.5bn from divesting their holdings in ICBC, including the current block trade. Sources familiar with the matter say that the Wall Street firm still holds a small stake with the Chinese lender. In April 2006, Goldman purchased a 4.9 per cent stake in ICBC for $2.58bn, right before the Chinese bank’s listing in the Hong Kong exchange.

Several international banks and financial institutions like Bank of America and Citigroup have invested a total of $33bn in Chinese banks between 2001 and 2009, based on the data by the China Banking Regulatory Commission.

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