THE FINANCE SECTOR UNION IS OUTRAGED THAT INSURANCE COMPANY QBE IS CONSIDERING SENDING HUNDREDS OF JOBS TO THE PHILLIPINES. TODAY QBE REPORTED AN EIGHT PER CENT RISE IN FULL YEAR PROFIT TO 741 MILLION DOLLARS. QBE'S CHIEF EXECUTIVE JOHN NEAL SAYS AROUND 700 JOBS WILL GO TO THE PHILLIPINES, BUT HE REFUSED TO OUTLINE HOW MANY WILL BE FROM AUSTRALIA.

VIRGIN AUSTRALIA SAYS THE COST OF THE CARBON TAX, STRONG COMPETITION AND ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY DRAGGED DOWN PROFITS. THE AIRLINE'S FIRST HALF PROFIT MORE THAN HALVED TO 23 MILLION DOLLARS, AFTER IT PAID 24-POINT-FOUR MILLION DOLLARS IN CARBON TAX. IT SAYS IT WAS UNABLE TO RECOVER THE COST OF THE CARBON TAX, BECAUSE OF AGGRESSIVE COMPETITION IN THE MARKET.

TO THE MARKET REACTION - VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HAS SLUMPED FIVE AND THREE QUARTERS OF A PER CENT, SHARES IN QBE - LOST OVER TWO PER CENT, IN CONTRAST THE MEDIA SECTOR PERFORMED WELL.

A CLASS ACTION HAS BEEN LAUNCHED... AGAINST VODAFONE FOR PATCHY NETWORK COVERAGE.... AND POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE. PIPER ALDERMAN... SAYS... AROUND 23 THOUSAND PEOPLE HAVE SIGNED UP.... VODAFONE SAYS.. IT CAN'T COMMENT BECAUSE IT'S BEEN GIVEN NO DETAILS ABOUT THE CASE.

THE LOCAL SHARE MARKET FELL AS INVESTORS NERVOUSLY AWAIT THE OUTCOME OF ITALY'S ELECTION. THE ALL ORDINARIES INDEX LOST ONE PER CENT, THE ASX 200 INDEX IS ONE PER CENT, THE AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR IS HIGHER AGAINST THE GREENBACK

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