Goldman (GS) To Sell Off Stake In China's Biggest Bank

 @AlexCKaufman
on May 20 2013 11:09 AM

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS) is selling off its stake in Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (HKG:1398) in what appears to signal unease with the Chinese banking sector’s slowing profit growth and possible increase in bad loans.

The Wall Street titan has been slowly reducing its stake in the bank in recent years and now hopes to sell what remains for about $1.1 billion, exiting the 7-year-old investment in the world’s biggest bank by market value and raising a total of about $9.7 billion for Goldman, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The sale would make Goldman the latest Western investor to exit its stake in a Chinese bank. UBS AG (NYSE:UBS) and Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (NYSE:RBS) both recently sold their stakes in Bank of China (HKG:3988) Ltd.

The ICBC has been struggling with a slowdown for at least the past two years. In 2011, volatility in the bank’s shares caused Goldman to report a full-year net loss in Asia, the first time since the 2008 financial crisis.

In April, the bank posted a slower, 14 percent rise in first-quarter profit, Reuters reported.

Now, the ICBC stake is expected to be priced Monday, according to the Journal.

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