Gina Rinehart takes significant oil stake: Midday roundup

Mining magnate Gina Rinehart has made her next move, with Hancock Prospecting acquiring a significant shareholding in Lakes Oil, as announced to the Australian Stock Exchange this morning.

The subsidiary was not named in the statement, but now has an 18.6% stake in Lakes Oil.

Claims flood in from cyclone Oswald

The insurance claims are flooding in from ex-tropical cyclone Oswald as Suncorp have already received 4,500 claims.

With flood waters still rising, the company expected the claims will continue throughout the week.

Suncorp already maintains a $520 million allowance for large natural hazards and so far $147 million has been spent.

Analysts were expecting insurance claims amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars over the next few weeks from Queensland and New South Wales.

Shares open higher after strong lead

Australian shares are once again performing well, with the market opening higher for the ninth day straight.

At noon the S&P/ASX 200 benchmark was up 38.7 points to 4873.9.

Insurance companies were the only ones to open lower this morning, as they assess the financial damage of ex-tropical cyclone Oswald.

Investors flee insurance shares after floods

Shares in the insurance industry have taken a beating this morning following a large spike in claims due to the Queensland floods, which continue to ravage several areas of the state including Bundaberg and the Gold Coast.

Shares in Suncorp Group fell by 3.76% this morning to $10.50, while shares in Insurance Australia Group fell 2.13% to $4.185.



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