The SEC announced that it has added to its Web site a software tool that permits investors to obtain information directly from company disclosure documents about a company's business interests in countries the U.S. Secretary of State has designated "State Sponsors of Terrorism." The information comes from the companies' most recent annual reports as filed with the SEC.
Five countries are currently on the U.S. State Department list: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.
The new software tool can be accessed on the Investor Information section of the SEC's home page. Clicking the tab for "State Sponsors of Terrorism" will bring up a menu of each of the countries on the "State Sponsors of Terrorism" list. Clicking on any of those countries will bring up a menu of the companies whose 2006 annual reports disclose business activities in that country. Clicking on the name of a company will, in turn, bring up the pertinent portions of that company's annual report.
All of the disclosures are linked directly to the full text of the company's annual report to insure proper context. The existence of a disclosure by a company concerning activities in one of the listed countries does not, in itself, mean that the company directly or indirectly supports terrorism or is otherwise engaged in any improper activity. The information will be continuously updated to reflect SEC filings as they are received, as well as any changes to the Department of State's list.
In addition to this initiative, the SEC is complying with a provision in the recently enacted supplemental Appropriations Act requiring that the agency coordinate with the Department of the Treasury on the preparation of a report containing the names of companies which either directly, or through a parent or subsidiary, conduct significant business in Sudan relating to natural resource extraction.
Please click http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2007/2007-121.htm to access the release announcing the Web site.