US - New York pension funds have teamed up with the California Public Employees' Retirement System and other major players to address the risks of doing business in Iran.
The coalition includes New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, who is acting on behalf of the New York City Pension Funds, the New York State Common Retirement Fund, North Carolina Retirement System and Illinois State Board of Investment.
They have sent letters to eight companies with business ties to Iran calling on them to describe their current measures to mitigate risks that could have a negative impact on the companies’ stock price and reputation.
Written responses are requested from the companies by 31 August.
Royal Dutch Shell plc of the Netherlands, Total SA of France and China Petroleum Company of China were among the companies sent letters.
Explaining the decision, Thompson said: “Given the growing tension between the United States and Iran -- a country the United States Department of State has designated a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ -- it is increasingly likely that the worsening situation and tightening economic sanctions will negatively impact companies doing business there.”
Russell Read, chief investment officer at CalPERS, said the organisation needed information to assess the potential threats to investments by four firms in its public equity portfolio.
The companies include ENI, Repsol YPF, Royal Dutch Shell and Total in Iran.
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