ASX 200 (XJO) drops 1.7%, Afterpay sinks

The ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) is currently down 1.7% at lunch.

Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT)

Afterpay shares have sunk 6% after Paypal announced the planned launch of an instalment, interest-free option for consumers in the US.

It is launching a service called “Pay in 4” which it says is an interest-free instalment solution at no extra cost. It obviously means you can pay for things over four payments. Does that sound familiar?

Consumers can pay for items costing in a range of $30 to $600. This will appear in a customer’s PayPal wallet.

Here’s the kicker – merchants won’t have to pay more fees to offer the option. It will be included in the existing pay structure.

Whilst the PayPal service is initially free for customers who pay on time, there will be fees for people who pay late.

Doug Bland, SVP, Global Credit at PayPal, said: “In today’s challenging retail and economic environment, merchants are looking for trusted ways to help drive average order values and conversion, without taking on additional costs. At the same time, consumers are looking for more flexible and responsible ways to pay, especially online.

QBE Insurance Group Ltd (ASX: QBE)

QBE shares are down over 5% after the insurer announced the departure of its CEO.

Pat Regan, the CEO of QBE, will be leaving the company after being in the job for three years.

QBE said there had been “an external investigation concerning workplace communications that the Board concluded did not meet the standards set out in the ‘Group Code of Ethics and Conduct”.

QBE Chairman Mike Wilkins said: “We are committed to having a respectful and inclusive environment for everyone at QBE. The Board concluded that he had exercised poor judgement in this regard.

While these are challenging circumstances the Board recognises and thanks Mr Regan for his hard work and contribution to strengthening QBE. However, all employees must be held to the same standards.”

According to reporting by the Australian Financial Reviewa complaint about Regan over inappropriate communications was made 10 days ago by a female employee. The AFR said QBE wasn’t going to comment on the details of the complaint, but ‘sources’ said the investigations found definitely that the complaints against Regan did not constitute sexual harassment.

Mr Wilkins will assume the role of Executive Chairman and take over day to day running of QBE.

Other news

The team over at Rask Media have covered the rest of today’s news, so make sure you head over there for more ASX share market coverage.

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At the time of publishing, the author of this article does not have a financial or commercial interest in any of the companies mentioned.

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