Goldman Sachs Group may sell part of its 4.9 percent stake in Industrial and Commercial Bank of China <601398.SS>, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The move could raise $1 billion for Goldman, these people told the WSJ. Goldman's shares in ICBC are worth about $7.5 billion, according to the newspaper.

Goldman and ICBC began discussing a sale late last year of up to 15 percent to 20 percent of the Wall Street bank's stake, two people with knowledge of the discussions told the WSJ.

A spokesman for Goldman was not immediately available for comment.

The U.S. bank may use money from any sale of ICBC shares to repay $10 billion in government funds it received in October, according to the WSJ.

Goldman has already said the bank would like to repay this money to get out from under executive pay and other restrictions tied to the funds.

Shares in Goldman closed up 15 percent at $111.93 on Monday, amid a broad rally in financial shares.

(Reporting by Elinor Comlay, additional reporting by Joseph A. Giannone)