QBE Insurance shares have plummeted this morning, dropping more than 19% in early trade on the back of a profit downgrade.
The company expects to report a full-year net loss of $US250 million, following a good will impairment charge of around $US600 million from the North American division of the business.
The loss follows a full year net profit of $US761 million in the previous year.
QBE shares had fallen 19.29% to $12.47 at 11.52am AEDT.
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Harvey Norman franchisees fined $116,000
Four Harvey Norman franchisees have been ordered to pay a total of $116,000 by the Federal Court for misleading customers regarding their consumer guarantee rights.
The stores were located in Launceston and Moonah in Tasmania and Hoppers Crossing and Sale in Victoria.
The court found the stores made a number of false representations, including telling customers they had no obligation to provide remedies for damaged goods unless notified within a short period of time and had no obligation to provide an exchange or refund for faulty goods.
The Launceston store went a step further and stated on customer receipts that “no claims will be honoured on damaged goods unless notified within 24 hours of delivery or pick-up”.
Proceedings are also underway against another six Harvey Norman franchisees for similar conduct.
Shares fall on open
Despite strong gains on Wall Street on Friday, Australian shares have defied analyst expectations and dropped on open.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 29.2 points to 5156.8 at 12:02pm AEDT. On Friday, the Dow Jones closed 198.69 points higher, up 1.26% to 16,020.20.