Hong Kong: Goldman Sachs was on Monday selling up to about $1.9 billion worth of shares in Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) at a discount of 4% to 6% to the Chinese lender’s Monday closing price, according to a term sheet.
The shares represent nearly 20% of Goldman’s 4.93% stake in the Chinese bank, which is the world’s biggest lender by market value.
Goldman pledged earlier this year to keep 80% of its ICBC stake until April 2010. Under an earlier lockup agreement, Goldman would have been permitted to sell half of its stake in the state-controlled bank this past April and the rest in October.
The Wall Street bank was selling 3.03 billion shares at HK$4.80-HK$4.90 each, the term sheet said. ICBC’s Hong Kong shares rose 4.7% to close at HK$5.11 each on Monday.
Goldman Sachs, which was managing the sale, declined to comment.
ICBC’s Hong Kong-listed shares have jumped nearly 43% since Goldman announced plans to extend its investment in the bank, which was also the day ICBC posted flat fourth-quarter profits.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index has risen nearly 39% over the same period, including a 3.95% surge on Monday.
Battered western banks including Bank of America, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS have sold stakes in big Chinese banks in recent months in order to raise capital.