Wednesday, March 25, 2009

ICBC shares rally after 2008 net income rises 36%

Shares of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China stacked up a double-digit percentage gain in Hong Kong trade Thursday after the bank reported a 36% rise in 2008 net profit.Gains in ICBC's share price were also attributed to an agreement struck with Goldman Sachs that will enable the U.S. bank to sell part of its 4.9% stake in the Chinese lender, the world's biggest bank by market value.Goldman Sachs on Wednesday committed to keeping 80% of its investment in ICBC until April 2010. The U.S. bank will be free to sell 20% of its current holding after April 28.

Shares of ICBC (HK:1398: news , chart , profile ) were up 11.5% to HK$3.98 at the lunch break in Hong Kong.ICBC said late Wednesday that 2008 net profit totaled 110.84 billion yen ($16.2 billion) compared to 81.5 billion yuan in the prior year.

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