In another sign that Western banks are slowly withdrawing from the Chinese loan market, one of the largest U.S. banks has relinquished its remaining stake in a major state-owned Chinese bank.
On Wednesday, Bank of America (BAC) sold 2 billion shares of China Construction Bank for $1.47 billion. The shares represented that final portion of its stake in the bank, which amounted to 9% in 2005, the Associated Press noted.
A number of international banks purchased stakes in Chinese banks over the last decade, hoping to leverage those positions to drive expansion in China. But the Chinese banking market has remained mostly impervious to foreign lenders, prompting many to cash out their investments, taking profits.
Earlier this year, Goldman Sachs (GS) sold its holdings in the Industrial & Commerce Bank of China for more than $1 billion.
China Construction Bank is one of four banks owned by the Chinese government. Bank of America invested $3 billion to acquire its initial stake, but sold 13.1 billion shares in the bank two years ago, generating $8.3 billion.
Shares of Bank of America slipped slightly in Wednesday morning trading.