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Monday, 8 February 2010

The C of E’s dirty dollars

We’ve seen before how the Church of England has investments in decidedly dodgy portfolios, but now it’s decided to sell off one of them.

We learn from the Scotsman that it has sold its £3.8 million stake in the mining company Vedanta Resources. This follows concerns about the company’s human-rights record in India.

“Allegations about Vedanta’s alumina refinery in Lanjigarh, Orissa, and planned bauxite mine in the nearby Niyamgiri hills came to the Church’s attention in June last year, sparking a period of ‘engagement’ with the company,” the story says. But the talks have had “no substantive results”.

The Church of England doesn’t say in the story what it’s going to do with the proceeds of the sale. Is there a profit? What dividends did it receive while the investment was in place?

You can see where I’m going with this, can’t you? It’s a step in the right direction to pull out (and to pull out of all dodgy investments), but any profits gained as a result of being in dirty businesses in the first place should be given to charity – preferably, if at all possible, a charity that helps anyone who may have been exploited by the companies concerned.
Related link:
The Christian ethics of investment

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