QBE Insurance Group has signed an agreement to sell its Australian agency businesses to insurance broking network Steadfast Group, for around A$290m ($225.4m).

Under the deal, Steadfast will acquire QBE’s CHU Underwriting Agencies, Corporate Underwriting Agencies (CUA) or otherwise called Body Corporate Brokers (BCB), and Underwriting Agencies of Australia (UAA).

QBE Group CEO John Neal said: "We are pleased to progress another important step of our capital plan with the sale of the Australian agency businesses at a price we consider to be attractive for our shareholders.

"An important element of the sale is the 10 year exclusive distribution agreement we have entered into with Steadfast to retain the underwriting business provided by the agencies."

The deal is expected to be completed by the end of March this year.

In January this year, QBE also signed an agreement with Alliant Insurance Services to sell its US agency businesses, for around $300m.

As part of the deal, Alliant will acquire QBE North America’s US agency businesses, including Community Association Underwriters (CAU), Deep South Insurance Services (DSIS) and Southern Insurance Underwriters (SIU).

With around 16000 employees in 52 countries, QBE provides insurance services in Australia, America, Europe and Asia Pacific region.