Investors are bidding up prices for top-tier office buildings in Orange County, California, even as vacancies stand at almost 20 percent after the collapse of the subprime-mortgage industry that once made the region its home.
QBE Insurance Group Ltd. agreed to buy Bank of America Corp. ’s business insuring foreclosed homes as Chief Executive Officer Frank O’Halloran raises his bet U.S. premium growth will help reverse three years of profit declines.
QBE Insurance Group Ltd. shares fell the most in 11 months in Sydney trading after Australia’s largest insurer by market value forecast a narrower insurance margin after “unprecedented” claims from catastrophes.
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. ’s offer of as much as A$1.75 billion ($1.73 billion) for Perpetual Ltd. may spur consolidation among Australian firms overseeing the world’s fourth-biggest pool of managed funds.
Insurance Australia Group Ltd., the Sydney-based insurer formed in 1925, said fiscal-year profit more than doubled as rising income from premiums offset claims from natural disasters in Queensland and New Zealand.
Asian stocks swung between gains and losses after a report showed U.S. retail sales were better than forecast, boosting the outlook for exporters. QBE Insurance Group Ltd. slumped after issuing a profit forecast.