Finance: Merrill Lynch tobacco-restricted fund opened to all

Mathew Little

The Merrill Lynch common investment fund, Charishare Tobacco Restricted, has been opened to all charities after a change to the fund's eligibility criteria was approved by the Charity Commission.

The fund, which excludes companies involved in the production of tobacco or tobacco-related products, has until now been available only to cancer charities or organisations relieving diseases caused by tobacco, and NHS charities.

But the eligibility criteria have now been scrapped and any charity whose investment policies allow it to avoid tobacco-related investment can invest in the fund.

This brings the fund, launched in 1997, into line with other common investment funds.

Andrew Hunter Johnson, managing director of charities at Merrill Lynch, said: "We believe there is a significant demand for a tobacco-restricted fund among the wide range of charity fund investors, particularly one with such an excellent track record."

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