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anglican fund lifts ban on uranium

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    the age newspaper 24/8/2005

    Anglican fund lifts ban on uranium
    By Angela MacDonald-Smith
    August 24, 2005

    AUSTRALIA's No. 2 ethical investment fund has lifted its ban on buying uranium shares, partly on concerns that the rising use of oil and coal is contributing to global warming.

    The Anglican Church's investment fund in Australia, Glebe Asset Management, scrapped the restriction after BHP Billiton bought WMC Resources, owner of the Olympic Dam uranium mine in South Australia.

    Australians last year had more than $21.5 billion in ethical managed investments that avoid industries such as tobacco and gaming.

    Glebe and BT Funds Management are among those now accepting uranium.

    "We added it all together and thought that we really should not have uranium mining as a strict" prohibition, said Glebe director David Andrews, who would otherwise have had to sell BHP shares that account for about $10 million of the fund's $500 million.

    Australia, the world's No. 2 uranium exporter, has 41 per cent of global uranium reserves. But bans on uranium mining by some state governments mean Australia's exports account for just 21 per cent of global demand.

    Wholesale uranium prices have more than doubled since January last year on expectations that reactors built in China, India and Russia will drain inventories.

    On the back of these market developments, the shares of Energy Resources of Australia, the country's biggest uranium exporter, have more than doubled this year.

    Paladin Resources, a uranium explorer that has plans to develop a uranium mine in Namibia, has been the best performer this year on the S&P/ASX 200 Index. The shares have trebled in value, to $1.66, outpacing an 11 per cent gain in the benchmark index.

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