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Church of England's fund posts decade's best returns

The Church of England's investment fund was the best performer among comparable plans over the last decade, posting 2005 returns that were the highest since 1999. The £4.9-billion ($9.86-billion) fund, which invests in stocks, bonds and property, returned 19.1 per cent last year. This helped the 302-year-old fund earn an average annual return of 11 per cent for the decade ended Dec. 31, 2005, compared with an average of 8 per cent for similar plans, the Church of England said yesterday in its annual report, citing State Street Corp.'s WM Co. performance measurement unit. The church altered its asset allocation last year, putting more money in emerging market and European stocks and selling some of its British stocks. The fund refuses to invest in weapons or pornography, or any company whose main business is gambling, alcohol or tobacco. Bloomberg

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