Genworth shares plunge on IPO delay for Australian business

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Genworth Financial Inc. shares plunged Wednesday following its plans to delay its the initial private offering of part of its Australian mortgage insurance.

The Richmond-based insurance company’s stock price fell 24 percent Wednesday to close at $5.87.

The company had said late Tuesday that it planned to delay an initial public offering of its Australian mortgage insurance business until early 2013. Genworth had originally planned the initial public offering of as much as 40 percent of its Australian mortgage insurance business for the second quarter of 2012.

The company said the delay is because of poor business conditions in Australia as lenders in the country accelerated the processing of previous delinquencies to foreclosure.
Genworth is pursuing the sale as part of its business portfolio management strategy.

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