QBE lifts on savings drive

QBE insurance Ltd shares pushed higher after the group reaffirmed its commitment to a $250 million savings drive.

QBE insurance Ltd shares pushed higher after the group reaffirmed its commitment to a $250 million savings drive.

At 1100 AEST QBE shares were 3% higher at $15.77, against a benchmark index lift of 1.8%.

Addressing investors in Sydney, QBE said it was expecting operational transformation initiatives to deliver annual run-rate benefits of at least $250 million by the end of fiscal 2015.

As part of the initiative, QBE flagged a review of current processes to eliminate waste, as well as an increased focus on its group shared services centre in Manilla.

The group said it had chosen Manilla because of cost competitiveness and robust and reliable infrastructure.

QBE chief executive officer John Neal remained confident of the group's full-year perforamnce, saying annualised first half investment yield was still expected to be in line with previous guidance of approximately 2.25%.

Mr Neal said sustained weakness in the Australian dollar would boost local earnings, but may adversely impact United States premiums and earnings.

Last week Eureka Report examined how Neal's initiatives have successfully refocused the business over the past year, taking the company from being on the ropes to outperforming the market and its peers. 

However, recent research indicates QBE could be heading for a fall, with the stock heavily shorted on the market.

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