WASHINGTON, June 25, 2007 (AFP) – The US Securities and Exchange Commission watchdog has added a link to its website listing dozens of mostly foreign companies it said on Monday had disclosed interests in “countries known to sponsor terrorism.” The new link on the SEC’s website comes after US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson last week urged US allies to help cut off Iran’s banks from the global financial system, accusing the Iranian Revolutionary Guard of funding and training Middle East militant groups. The list of international companies includes Australian, British, German, French and Japanese groups including HSBC Holdings, Unilever PLC, BP PLC, Siemens, Deutsche Bank, Total and the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group among many others.
They are included in a listing of mainly international companies that have activities in five states the American authorities claim sponsor state terrorism: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria.
“No investor should ever have to wonder whether his or her investments or retirement savings are indirectly subsidizing a terrorist haven or genocidal state,” SEC chairman Christopher Cox said in a statement.
“The law already requires companies to report on any material activities in a country the secreta