THE NEWS WRAP: QBE predicts $250 million in losses for the current financial year

Insurance giant QBE has predicted losses of $250 million for the full financial year, coming off the back of asset writedowns and large insurance claims from farmers in the US.

 

“The record crop yield projected by the US Federal Government has not materialised, increasing QBE’s exposure to revenue claims as a result of the collapse in crop prices (particularly for corn) after early season preventative planting claims eroded the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation reinsurance deductible,” QBE says in a statement.

 

QBE chair Belinda Hutchinson also announced plans to step down, with the company’s share price plunging 20% on the news.

 

10% fall in job ads

 

The number of job ads advertised in newspapers and online fell by 0.8% month-on-month and 10% year-on-year during November, according to the latest ANZ job ads survey.

 

The weaker result came on top of a 0.1% month-on-month fall during October.

 

“Despite the improvements in some areas of the economy, labour market conditions are likely to remain soggy in the near term. The resources boom is now moving into the operational/production phase which is expected to be less labour intensive than the investment phase,” ANZ economist Justin Fabo says in a statement.

 

American Airlines and US Airways merge to create super airline

 

American Airlines and US Airways have merged to create the world’s largest airline after a settlement with the US Department of Justice over antitrust concerns.

 

The new American Airlines will run around 6700 flights each day to over 330 destinations in 50 countries, while giving up slots at seven major airports to clear regulatory concerns.

 

“We are taking the best of both US Airways and American Airlines to create a formidable competitor, better positioned to deliver for all of our stakeholders,” says American Airlines chief executive Doug Parker.

 

Overnight

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down to 16019.7. The US Aussie dollar is at US91.1 cents.

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