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German bank promises to sell shares

COLOGNE, Germany, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- A German Catholic bank will immediately sell its shares in a contraception producer, its director said in Cologne Sunday.

Winifried Hinzen apologized to customers of Pax Bank and said the shares would be sold Monday morning, Sunday's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported.

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The bank invested $220,459 in the U.S. pharmaceutical firm, Wyeth, which produces contraceptives, the weekend edition of Der Spiegel reported. The magazine also showed investments in a British company that produces nuclear submarines and fighter jets, and in tobacco firms.

The Local reported the Pax Bank Web site advertises the bank invests in ethically-sound shares. The Web site specifically notes the bank does not invest in arms or tobacco and promises its dealings will fit with the beliefs of the Catholic Church, which bans artificial contraception.

Many of the Pax Bank investors are church institutions and Catholic communities.

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