Temasek has bought about one third of the China Construction Bank shares that have been offloaded by Bank of America in recent days, media reports said.
The Temasek acquisition will bring its stake in the Chinese lender to more than nine percent, making it the largest shareholder after the Chinese government, the Straits Times said on Thursday.
Temasek is believed to have paid about 4.93 Hong Kong dollars for the 3.45 billion shares it bought. Two other Chinese institutions will buy the rest of the 10.4 billion shares selling by Bank of America. Bank of America is selling the shares to raise cash in order to boost its capital adequacy.
China accounted for about 20 percent of Temasek's investment portfolios of 193 billion U.S. dollars at the end of March.
Foreign investors including Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Royal Bank of Scotland have cut more than 25 billion U.S. dollars of holdings in Chinese lenders since the beginning of 2009, Bloomberg said.
Bank of America said on Monday it will sell its 10 percent stake in the China Construction Bank in private transactions for a profit of about 1.8 billion U.S. dollars, leaving it with just a one percent stake.
Temasek had pared its stakes in both the China Construction Bank and Bank of China in July, raising concerns it was losing confidence in China, saying that it was part of portfolio rebalancing.
It then bought more shares in August, raising its stake in the two banks to about eight percent and seven percent, respectively. (1 U.S. dollar = 7.8 Hong Kong dollars)