LONDON, July 9 The Church of England has
threatened to pull its $6 million investment in Rupert
Murdoch's News Corp over the phone hacking scandal at
its News of the World paper.
The Church's investment represents a small amount of News
Corp's value, a company with a market cap of $32 billion.
But the move is an indication of the wider repercussions
from the scandal for the media giant's brand.
The Church said in a statement its Ethical Investment
Advisory Group (EIAG) wrote to News Corp on Friday, saying the
behaviour of the paper, accused of illegally accessing countless
voicemail messages and making payments to police, had been
utterly "reprehensible and unethical".
"While the EIAG welcomes the decision to close the News of
the World, this action is not a sufficient response to the
revelations of malpractice at the paper," it added.
"Nor does it address the failure of News International and
News Corporation executives to undertake a proper investigation
and take decisive remedial action as soon as the police
uncovered illegal phone hacking in 2006."
The Church said it had written to Murdoch to insist that
News Corp took "all necessary measures" to instil investor
confidence in the group's ethical and governance standards.
"We cannot imagine circumstances in which we would be
satisfied with any outcome that does not hold senior executives
to account at News Corporation for the gross failures of
management at the News of the World," it added.
A spokesman for the Church said: "There must always in the
background be the possibility that, after discussions with the
senior management, if you are not influencing what they do or
how they do it, there must always be the possibility that we
"It's quite rare but it does happen," he said, pointing to
the Vedanta disinvestment in early 2010 when the Church
of England sold its 3.6 million pound stock in the mining
company over ethical concerns.
(Reporting by Jodie Ginsberg and Olesya Dmitracova; Writing by