Database of Companies Doing Business in Occupied Territories Launched
The EIRIS Foundation announced the release last week of a new online database of companies doing business in Crimea and Palestine. The database provides businesses, investors, and others with comprehensive information about corporate operations in these two territories.
This new project—research into corporate activity in Crimea and Palestine—puts to use expertise gained by studying the interplay between corporate activity and conflict in Sudan and Burma/Myanmar. The EIRIS Foundation is a UK-based charity working in the area of responsible investment.
“The EIRIS Foundation has a history of empowering responsible investors and others with the provision of independent data on a wide variety of company activities,” said Kathy Mulvey, director of EIRIS Conflict Risk Network. “With the release of our analysis and database of corporate activity in Crimea and Palestine, we expand on that expertise.
“Until now,” she added, “investors have had little access to objective information about corporate presence and operations in the occupied territories of Crimea and Palestine. Publication of this database of companies active in these regions has begun to address this lack of access.”
Access to such objective and independent research increases transparency, empowers investors, and enhances global knowledge and understanding about investment in occupied territories, according to Mulvey. The databases are presented in the context of information and analysis about the territories’ economic sectors and international trade policies.
“Our research focuses on corporate activities, which is of great interest to those seeking to avoid fostering or promoting violence in conflict zones,” said Mulvey. “This information was not publicly available until now.”
Over the past six months, EIRIS has conducted research in five languages, English, Hebrew, Arabic, Russian and Ukrainian. Companies included in the database meet two criteria: public exposure through stocks and/or bonds, and local presence in either Crimea or Palestine.
In Crimea, the database contains 27 publicly-listed companies that are open for business, 20 that have closed due to international sanctions, and 25 that have been nationalized since the occupation.
In Palestine, the database contains 80 publicly-listed companies in settlements and 70 publicly-listed companies in non-settlement areas.
There are 22 companies in the Global Fortune 500 and 16 companies in the U.S. Fortune 500 in the database. Eight companies in the U.S. Fortune 500 are also in the Global Fortune 500, so the database contains a total of 30 of the largest global or U.S. companies, Mulvey noted.
Of these 30 companies, 18 are in Palestine and 14 are in Crimea, of which six are open and eight are closed.
Countries in the European Union, Russia and the United States, have the largest numbers of open companies in Crimea. Two-thirds of closed businesses in Crimea were U.S.-based; one U.S. company in Crimea has been nationalized. Among Ukrainian companies previously in Crimea, all but one have either left or been nationalized.
The Coca-Cola Company, Daimler, Expedia, Hewlett-Packard, Priceline Group and Yum! Brands are the only six companies active in both settlement and non-settlement areas of Palestine. Fourteen foreign companies are active in Israeli settlements, while 12 foreign companies are in Palestinian towns. Six companies operate in both settlement and non-settlement areas of Palestine.
Ramallah has the largest number of publicly-listed companies, while Ma’ale Adumim, an Israeli settlement, has the largest number of publicly-listed companies in the settlements.