THE NEWS WRAP: QBE set to axe around 700 jobs

Insurance giant QBE is set to cut around 700 jobs as part of a push to save $200 million a year in operating costs.

 

Chief executive John Neal is believed to be considering the broad job cuts following a series of smaller cuts last year.

 

The news comes as the insurer faces increasing cost pressures following job cuts at ANZ and Westpac last year, with competitor Insurance Australia Group also believed to be looking at job cuts.

 

Rinehart pushing Rio to fast-track iron ore projects

 

Gina Rinehart is urging the new chief executive of Rio Tinto, Sam Walsh, to fast-track a number of key iron ore projects in the Pilbara region.

 

Walsh took the top job at Rio following the shock resignation of former chief executive Tom Albanese on Thursday of last week, following a series of write-downs at the company.

 

The mining magnate is calling on Walsh to swiftly approve a series of iron ore mines in the Hope Downs precinct, which Rio jointly owns with Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting.

 

Vodafone backs down on per megabyte charging following consumer backlash

 

Vodafone has backed down on a plan to charge its prepaid customers on a per megabyte basis, following a backlash from consumers.

 

“We have decided to… reverse our decision to introduce per-[megabyte] charging. We are committed to listening, being transparent and providing our customers a worry-free experience,” Vodafone director of customer care Cormac Hodgkinson said.

 

However, the carrier is still going ahead with plans to charge for access to social media sites including Facebook and Twitter.

 

Overnight

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.39% to 13,649.70. The Aussie dollar is down to US1.0515 cents.

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