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Vatican bank report takes step toward transparency

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican has taken another step in its efforts to be more financially transparent by publishing a first-ever annual report for the secretive Vatican bank. It was published as Italian prosecutors investigate alleged money-laundering there, a Vatican monsignor remains in detention and the pope probes the problems that have brought such scandal to the institution.

According to the report Tuesday, earnings at the Institute for Religious Works rose more than four-fold in 2012 to $116.95 million as net trading income rebounded from a loss in 2011.

The picture may not be so rosy for 2013, with rising interest rates cutting profits and millions earmarked for the IOR’s transparency process, which has involved hiring outside experts to revamp its procedures, review its client base and remake its image.

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