HONG KONG - Goldman Sachs was on Monday selling up to about $1.9 billion worth of shares in Industrial and Commercial Bank of China at a discount of 4 percent to 6 percent to the Chinese lender's Monday closing price, according to a term sheet.
The shares represent nearly 20 percent of Goldman's 4.93 percent stake in the Chinese bank, which is the world's biggest lender by market value.
Goldman pledged earlier this year to keep 80 percent of its ICBC stake until April 2010. Under an earlier lockup agreement, Goldman would have been permitted to sell half of its stake in the state-controlled bank this past April and the rest in October.
The Wall Street bank was selling 3.03 billion shares at HK$4.80-HK$4.90 each, the term sheet said. ICBC's Hong Kong shares rose 4.7 percent to close at HK$5.11 each on Monday.
Goldman Sachs, which was managing the sale, declined to comment.
ICBC's Hong Kong-listed shares have jumped nearly 43 percent since Goldman announced plans to extend its investment in the bank, which was also the day ICBC posted flat fourth-quarter profits.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index .HSI has risen nearly 39 percent over the same period, including a 3.95 percent surge on Monday.
Battered western banks including Bank of America, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS have sold stakes in big Chinese banks in recent months in order to raise capital. (US$=HK$7.8)
(Reporting by Alison Lui, Clare Jim and Tony Munroe, Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Jon Loades-Carter)