Australia’s QBE Posts $13 Million Loss for 2001

March 13, 2002

QBE, the Australian insurer, which actually derives over 80 percent of its business from outside the country, ended its 20 year record of increasing profits with the announcement that of a $13 million loss for 2001.

Right up until yesterday, most analysts had expected the company to report a small profit, but the $131 million in net losses from the Sept. 11 attacks proved to be just a bit too much to overcome. The company posted an overall loss from insurance operations last year of $62 million, compared to a $97 million profit in 2000.

It expects to bounce back strongly in 2002. QBE raised an additional $348 million in new capital from an oversubscribed stock issue in November, so it has plenty of capacity. It has lowered its participation in Lloyd’s syndicates – it was the largest single investor last year – and expects to write gross written premiums of around $3.85 billion this year.

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