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Suncorp Group, QBE Fall After Australian Floods: Sydney Mover

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Suncorp Group Ltd. fell in Sydney trading on concern claims from floods caused by ex-tropical cyclone Oswald that lashed Queensland and New South Wales states would reduce earnings.

Suncorp, which gets more than a quarter of its premiums from Queensland, dropped as much as 4.9 percent and closed 1.9 percent lower at A$10.70 at the 4:10 p.m. close in Sydney. QBE Insurance Group Ltd. slid 2.7 percent to A$11.28.

Floods have forced the Insurance Council of Australia, whose members sell more than 90 percent of the country’s premiums, to declare a catastrophe for parts of Queensland and New South Wales, where waters upturned cars and flooded streets. As of 7:30 a.m, insurers had received 6,100 claims with estimated losses of A$72 million ($75.2 million), the council said in a statement today.

Suncorp has received 4,500 claims from storms and flooding associated with the cyclone, the Brisbane-based company said in a statement today. Insurance Australia Group Ltd. spokesman Andrew Tubb said in an e-mailed statement the insurer had got 2,000 claims and QBE Australia spokeswoman Anne Wall said in an e-mail the firm had 700 claims and expected claims to be “well below” levels seen in 2011.

Queensland and NSW, which account for about half the nation’s economy, experienced about A$9 billion in lost output when they were hit by flooding and Cyclone Yasi in 2011.

To contact the reporter on this story: Narayanan Somasundaram in Sydney at nsomasundara@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chitra Somayaji at csomayaji@bloomberg.net

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