HEADING TO COURT: Maurice Blackburn lawyer Jacob Varghese and Rockhampton resident Richard Bungey are leading a class action against QBE after claims they made statements in August, 2013, that gave investors false confidence about the group’s outlook.
HEADING TO COURT: Maurice Blackburn lawyer Jacob Varghese and Rockhampton resident Richard Bungey are leading a class action against QBE after claims they made statements in August, 2013, that gave investors false confidence about the group’s outlook. Contributed

Rocky man leads $200m class action after share market loss

RICHARD Bungey is one of 700 investors who lost money when QBE shares suffered their biggest single-day fall in more than a decade in December, 2013.

The Rockhampton man lost $11,000 after buying QBE shares for himself and his wife through the couple's self-managed super fund

A $200 million class action was filed in the Federal Court in Melbourne last week.

Maurice Blackburn lawyer Jacob Varghese claims QBE made statements in August, 2013, which gave investors false confidence about the group's outlook.

"QBE made comments which we allege were too bullish, given what they knew about what was going on," he said.

"That gave the market a degree of confidence, and it turns out that confidence was misplaced."

A few months later, QBE warned it expected to post a $US250 million loss for that year - worth $275 million based on exchange rates at the time - linked to asset writedowns in North America. The market responded by wiping $4 billion off the company's value.

"We are saying that investors lost $3.45 per share at least ... we're looking to recover that," Mr Varghese said.

Meanwhile, Mr Bungey, a semi-retired antique restorer, could have to wait more than two years to see a result.

But his lawyer is quite hopeful of a win.

"The law is quite plain, your company has to keep shareholders informed. If they don't, they have to remedy it," Mr Varghese said.

"In any given case, proving that's what happened, we've alleged they've done that. In the past, we have a good track record of winning these cases."


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