QBE Insurance raises $1.3 Billion to fund acquisitions

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Sydney: QBE Insurance Group., Australia's property and casualty insurer, raised $1.3 billion investment to shore up its capital and pay for acquisitions abroad, reported Bloomberg.

QBE, also the biggest manager in the Lloyds of London market, sold 97.6 million new shares at 20.50 Australian dollars apiece, the company said in a statement.

The company said it would spend $695 million on acquisitions, including U.S. insurer ZC Sterling, to stem slowing profit growth. QBE will also buy two U.S. underwriting agencies and one in Europe.

Chief Executive Officer Frank O'Halloran has made 12 acquisitions this year after a failed a bid of 8.7 billion Australian dollars for Insurance Australia Group.

QBE shares fell 2.2 percent to 22.50 Australian dollars at the close in Sydney. They were at $23 yesterday before being halted from trading ahead of the capital raising. QBE has dropped 33 percent this year, compared with a 40 percent slump in the six-company S&P/ASX 200 Insurance Index.

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