Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing is looking to raise cash by selling US$524 million worth of Bank of China (BoC) shares, Bloomberg reported. Li’s Magnitico Holdings is offering 2 billion BoC shares at US$0.25 per share. Magnitico bought 5 billion BoC shares in 2005 before the bank went public as part of a larger investment group led by the Royal Bank of Scotland. The sale follows moves by UBS and Bank of America to divest themselves of shares in BoC and China Construction Bank (CCB), respectively. Most foreign strategic investors in China’s biggest banks are free to sell their stakes as the lock-up periods they agreed to as a condition of purchase have now ended. Temasek, an investment arm of the Singapore government, has been able to sell its 9.9 billion shares CCB shares since August but has so far declined to do so. Goldman Sachs owns 16.5 billion shares in Industrial and Commercial Bank of China but has agreed not to sell until after April 28.
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