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Socially Responsible Investing

Activists pressing mutual fund firms to adopt so-called "genocide-free'' investment policies win an initial victory.

A decision by the Securities and Exchange Commission is expected to bring such a proposal before shareholders of Fidelity Investments' biggest equity fund and other Fidelity funds in coming months.

SEC staff denied a request from Boston-based Fidelity for assurance that it wouldn't face enforcement action if it keeps the measure off shareholder ballots.

The SEC finding is expected to trigger similar votes at Barclays, Franklin Templeton, T. Rowe Price, and Vanguard. Those are the other firms that have received shareholder proposals in a campaign led by Boston-based Investors Against Genocide.

The group's proposal requires funds to screen out investments the fund board determines are tied to human-rights violations and genocide.

This program aired on January 25, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.

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