Goldman Sachs Group To Sell Stake In China’s Largest Bank

Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) will sell a $1 billion stake in China’s largest bank. DealBook cites an anonymous source who said the bank began selling its Hong Kong shares of Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (SHA:601398) (HKG:1398) this morning for HK$5.77 (74 cents USD) apiece. That’s 3 percent less than the Friday closing price of the Chinese lender. The number of shares which will be sold has not been confirmed.

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This is the second time in less than 12 months that Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.(NYSE:GS) has sold off shares of the bank, after buying those shares at the bank’s 2006 initial public offering. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd.’s share prices have risen almost 50 percent within the past six months. A spokesperson for Goldman Sachs declined to comment on the media reports.

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Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.(NYSE:GS) sold a $2.5 billion stake in the bank last April to Temasek Holdings and other shareholders. Goldman Sachs invested about $2.6 billion in the bank at its IPO and has raised over $4.5 billion by selling its shares off progressively.

Goldman Sachs isn’t the only foreign bank to invest in China’s local lenders. Bloomberg Reports that foreign banks have earned greater profits investing in China’s banks rather than setting up their own branches in the country.

Data from the China Banking Regulatory Commission indicates that in all, foreign banks invested a total of $33 billion in China’s banks between 2001 and 2009. The banks which did set up their own locations in China brought in only a total of $10 billion in profits within the last 10 years.