Church of England sells its News Corporation shares

 

The Church of England has sold its shares in News Corporation over concerns about the company's response to the phone-hacking scandal.

The move comes after the Church threatened to pull its investments from the company if it failed to hold "senior managers" to account in July last year.

It announced that it is "not satisfied that News Corporation had shown, or is likely in the immediate future to show, a commitment to implement necessary corporate governance reform".

It sold its total shareholding for £1.9 million following advice from its Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EIAG), the Church said.

Andrew Brown, secretary of the Church Commissioners, said: "Last year's phone-hacking allegations raised some serious concerns amongst the Church's investing bodies about our holding in News Corporation.

"Our decision to disinvest was not one taken lightly and follows a year of continuous dialogue with the company, during which the EIAG put forward a number of recommendations around how corporate governance structures at News Corporation could be improved.

"However the EIAG does not feel that the company has brought about sufficient change and we have accepted its advice to disinvest."

Last year the EIAG said that the closure of the News Of The World was not a "sufficient response" to revelations of malpractice at the newspaper.

The Church excludes investment in companies involved in military products and services, pornography, alcoholic drinks, gambling, tobacco, human embryonic cloning and high-interest rate lending.

PA

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