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在线翻译:
szdaily -> World Economy -> 
Australia’s QBE exits Latin America, reports loss
    2018-02-27  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

AUSTRALIA’S QBE Insurance Group said yesterday it would exit Latin America to focus on its struggling units in Asia Pacific and North America, as it confirmed a record annual loss hurt by claims from natural disasters.

The country’s second-largest listed insurer by market size said it had agreed to sell its Latin American business to Zurich Insurance for US$409 million, making good on its promise to be smaller and less complex.

“Following a strategic review of our footprint in Latin America, we have decided to exit the region in order to focus on our core markets and to improve the quality and consistency of our results,” CEO Pat Regan said in a statement.

Regan said that fixing the “unacceptable” performance of the loss-making Asia-Pacific business, which was hurt by workers compensation claims in Hong Kong, was a priority. The unit made a net loss of US$179 million for the year.

“We just need to get a bit better at all of those,” Regan told analysts, referring to the company’s operations in Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia.

Cash loss for the year ended Dec. 31 came in at US$258 million compared with a profit of US$898 million a year ago. The annual net loss — already flagged in January — was a record US$1.25 billion, compared with an US$844 million profit last year.

QBE attributed the loss to what it called unprecedented costs for catastrophes and a US$700 million write-down in its North American unit.

The company declared a final dividend of A$0.04 cents per share, lower than A$0.33 a share last year. Despite the loss, it remained committed to buying back up to A$1 billion (US$785.4 million) in shares, a plan announced a year ago.

QBE’s shares were trading 2 percent lower yesterday morning while the broader market was 0.5 percent higher.

The Latin American operations, including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico, were sold for a pre-tax profit of about US$100 million, QBE said. (SD-Agencies)

 

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