The Wall Street firm joins Citigroup and Bank of America in cutting holdings in China as new capital rules known as Basel III make it more expensive to hold minority stakes in banks.
Goldman Sachs has reaped about $12bn in sales proceeds and dividends from its $2.58bn investment in ICBC, calculations by Macquarie Capital Securities show.
'Many foreign banks are facing capital shortages with the new Basel requirement, so I’m not surprised that they dumped holdings in Chinese banks on which they’ve already made massive returns', said Chen Xingyu, a Shanghai-based analyst at Phillip Securities Group. 'The exit strategy has been on the table for these foreign investors since the very beginning because they know these aren’t real strategic investments'.
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