SINGAPORE state investor Temasek bought $2.3bn (£1.4bn) worth of ICBC’s Hong Kong-listed shares from seller Goldman Sachs yesterday, piling into three of China’s top four banks and raising its bet on the world’s second-biggest economy.
Temasek was burned by its financial industry exposure in 2008, hit by stakes in large European and US banks that plunged in the crisis. But it has kept nearly 40 per cent of its investment portfolio in banks that it feels are strong and capturing emerging market growth.
The deal for ICBC takes Temasek deeper into China’s banking industry, which has grown from insolvency six years ago to a sector that holds four of the world’s top 10 banks by market value.
Ding Wei, Temasek’s China head, said it had bought into ICBC because the price was “reasonable” and the state investor was positive on the bank.
Goldman’s block trade is in line with its plan to reduce its stake in ICBC, which it bought into prior to the Chinese bank’s 2006 IPO.
City A.M. Reporter