A file photo of Goldman Sachs office in New York

IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication, earlier reported the sale, which comes at a time when ICBC shares have recovered about 50% from their October lows.

A source said Goldman was executing the sale to reduce its market exposure to the stake. The Wall Street bank notified the Chinese bank about the impending sale, another source said.

Goldman is offering the shares in a range of HK$4.88-5.00 each, a discount of between 3.7 and 6% to the last traded price, a term sheet seen by IFR showed.

Prior to the latest sale, Goldman held a 11.68 percent stake in ICBC’s Hong Kong shares worth $6.7 billion.

“It’s likely a reflection of Goldman’s own desire to book some profit and hedge their risk rather than a negative view on Chinese banks," said Warren Blight, lead analyst for Chinese bank research at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods in Hong Kong.

Goldman first bought 4.9% of ICBC for about $2.6 billion before the Chinese lender’s IPO in 2006, which was then the world’s biggest public offering. This is the third sell-down by Goldman in ICBC, raising a total of $5.9 billion.

Goldman Sachs is the sole book runner for the deal. ICBC and Goldman Sachs declined comment.