September 30, 2010 (Chinavestor) Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) reduced its stake in Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (HKG:0349), the world's most profitable bank, by selling 3.04 billion shares for $2.25 billion. Goldman (NYSE:GS) originally planned to sell to 2.75 billion shares. The news sent ICBC's (HKG:0349) Hong Kong-listed shares to a four-month low.
Analysts speculated that Goldman (NYSE:GS) reduced its stake in ICBC (HKG:0349) to participate in the bank's upcoming $6.7 billion rights offering. The sale was Goldman's (NYSE:GS) second since investing in the Chinese bank in 2006, according to Bloomberg News. Goldman (NYSE:GS) sold $2 billion worth of ICBC (HKG:0349) shares in June 2009.
The stake Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) sold yesterday fetched about four times what the New York-based firm paid for it, Bloomberg reported. ICBC (HKG:0349), the world's largest lender by assets, has been the most profitable bank in the world for three consecutive years.
A BNP Paribas analyst note said that recent meetings with investors in the U.S. confirmed a lack of conviction in China’s banking industry because of uncertainty about the government’s efforts to force lenders to bolster their capital, according to Bloomberg.