Goldman Sachs Group (GS.NYSE) is planning its third sale of shares in Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (1398.HKG), the world’s largest bank by value, in a move that may raise up to US$1.54 billion, Reuters reported. Goldman is selling 2.4 billion shares, or 2.8% of ICBC’s Hong Kong stake, at between HK$4.88-5.00 each, a slight discount to its trading price, according to sources familiar with the matter. The investment bank posted its second quarterly loss as a public company less than a month ago, with US$1.05 billion paper loss on its ICBC (601398.SS) stake alone. Goldman first invested US$2.6 billion for 4.9% stake in ICBC before its 2006 dual listing in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Goldman has raised a total of US$5.9 billion through its three sell-downs but its stake is still worth around US$5 billion after the latest sale, twice the original investment. “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 at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods.
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