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California Acts On Indirect Iran Investments

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California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner says he will refuse to recognize insurer investments in 50 non-Iranian companies that do business in the Iranian oil, natural gas, nuclear and defense sectors.

The list includes companies such as Royal Dutch Shell P.L.C., London, and Siemens A.G., Munich, Germany,

No California insurer has any direct investments in Iranian companies in the energy or defense sectors, but several have investments in non-Iranian companies that have ties to Iran, Poizner says.

Investments in companies with ties to Iran “are subject to increased financial risk and insurers should avoid future investments in these 50 Iran-related companies,” Poizner says in a statement.

A health insurer and a personal lines carriers that have requested anonymity have agreed to divest Iran-related investments, Poizner says.

Several other insurers also are talking about voluntary divestments, Poizner says.

Insurers that do business in Iran have invested only about $6 billion of their $4 trillion in assets in Iran-related investments, Poizner estimates.