Goldman launches ICBC selldown of about $1 billion - source

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January 28, 2013 10:00 PM EST

Goldman Sachs launched a sale of about $1 billion worth of Hong Kong-traded shares in Industrial and Commercial Bank of China <1398.HK> on Monday, according to a source with knowledge of the deal.

Goldman, looking to reduce further its stake in the world's largest bank, offered the shares in ICBC at HK$5.77 each, equivalent to a discount of 3 percent to Monday's close of HK$5.95, added the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

The U.S. bank has held a stake in ICBC since 2006.

The sale would be Goldman's second in less than a year, after the New York-based investment bank raised $2.5 billion from a partial selldown of ICBC in April of 2012, most of which was bought by Singapore state investor Temasek .

The sale last year was part of an effort by Goldman to derisk, Chief Financial Officer David Viniar said at the time. The deal left Goldman with a stake valued at about $2 billion in April last year.

Shares of ICBC have gained about 18 percent since the previous Goldman sale, in line with the performance of the Hang Seng Financial Index <.HSHFI>.

(Reporting by Michael Flaherty and Elzio Barreto; Editing by Robert Birsel and Hans-Juergen Peters)

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