New Vatican Investment Policy Orders Foreign Investment Accounts Closed
After years of financial scandal, the Vatican has centralized its investments strategy. Vatican investment policy will focus on ethical, low-risk investments. These investments will exclude investments in weapons, pornography, and contraception. Additionally, investments will be restricted from speculative businesses and sectors, such as gambling. The Investment Policy Statement also requires all Vatican departments to shut down their foreign investment accounts and move all holdings to the Vatican Bank.
Earlier this year, the Secretariat of State, which manages all the departments of the Vatican, invested 140 million euros in a London building. But the investment resulted in a huge loss for the Vatican, and the Secretariat of State was stripped of its control over the funds. The Vatican’s policy was prompted by recent financial scandals, which allegedly resulted in the closure of foreign investment accounts. The Secretariat of State’s financial crisis has been blamed on the irresponsible structure in place for decades.
The Vatican is governed by a Pontifical Commission of the City State, which is a unicameral body under the Pope’s leadership. This body consists of seven cardinals, including the President of the Pontifical Commission. Its members are appointed by the Pope for five-year terms. The Pontifical Commission must approve important actions by the Pontifical Commission and publish them in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.
The Vatican City State is not a member of the United Nations. Its representatives to the UN General Assembly, however, have observer status. As such, the Vatican City State is not subject to the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Additionally, it is not a signatory to the International Criminal Court. Only Belarus, Ukraine and the Principality of Monaco are signatory to the ICC.
The Pope is ex-officiohead of the state of the Vatican City, and functions through the Roman Curia, the central governing body of the Catholic Church. The Vatican is officially known as the Holy See, or the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. This policy is a serious concern for investors. It may lead to an increase in tax evasion, and a decrease in foreign investments.
The Vatican has its own top-level domain on the Internet, registered as (.va). Broadband service is widely available throughout the city. The Vatican has received a radio ITU prefix HV. Some amateur radio operators even use this for their stations. The Vatican is also home to L’Osservatore Romano, a bilingual semi-official newspaper of the Holy See. It is published by a private corporation, largely composed of Catholic laymen, and Acta Apostolicae Sedis, the official papers of the Holy See and Vatican City State.