Lansdowne sells its entire shareholding in Goldman

Europe's biggest hedge fund has sold its $850m (£518m) shareholding in Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street bank, signalling its rising concerns about the health of the global banking sector.

Lansdowne Partners has now offloaded its entire position in Goldman of 4.9 million shares – equivalent to nearly 1 per cent of the bank's equity and almost 10 per cent of the $10bn of funds that Lansdowne manages.

The hedge fund, which was a top- 20 investor in Goldman, made a similar sale of shares in the investment bank ahead of the collapse of Lehman Brothers at the height of the financial crisis in 2008.

Lansdowne's exit decision is reportedly partly focused on the reduction in value of Goldman's proprietary trading operations, which have been hit by regulatory changes under the so-called Volcker rules.

Goldman Sachs' profits fell back to $1.09bn in the second quarter, as it cut up to 1,000 jobs globally.