SEC Seeks Public Views on Enhanced Access to Company Reporting on Business in Countries on State Department List
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C., Nov. 16, 2007 - The Securities and Exchange Commission today asked for public comment about whether to develop mechanisms to facilitate greater access to companies' disclosures concerning their business activities in or with countries designated as State Sponsors of Terrorism by the U.S. Secretary of State.
The Commission's request comes in the form of a concept release that asks whether improvements in public access to company disclosures can be made.
"Investors have told us they want to avoid supporting terrorism directly or indirectly through their investments," said SEC Chairman Christopher Cox. "Some of the information they need for this purpose is already on file with the SEC. We're interested in ways to help investors find what they're looking for."
The five nations that have been designated by the U.S. Secretary of State as state sponsors of terrorism are Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria.
Earlier this year, the Commission temporarily provided a Web tool that linked to portions of companies' most recent annual reports that described their business activities in any of the five countries. Because the linked reports were not always the company's most recent disclosure, and because of other concerns with the Web tool, it was discontinued pending consideration of the issues set forth in the concept release.
Company disclosures of their business activities in the five countries remain available online through the SEC's EDGAR database of company disclosure.
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Additional materials: Concept Release No. 33-8860