Ford Motor asked about business in Syria and Sudan

Federal regulators are pressing Ford Motor Co. for information about its business in Syria and Sudan, which are under economic sanctions or other controls for being state sponsors of terrorism. Ford said its operations in those countries are legal and not material to investors. The Securities and Exchange Commission, in a letter to Ford dated July 5 but not released until Friday by the agency, said it appeared from Ford's Web site and news media accounts that the company has operations in Sudan and Syria. It also said that Mazda Motor Corp., which is part-owned by Ford, has a presence in Iran and Syria. "Your annual report does not include any information about these operations," SEC Division of Corporation Finance Branch Chief David R. Humphrey said in the letter to Ford Chief Financial Officer Don Leclair. The letter asks the company to describe its past, current and future operations in the countries and whether Ford believes contacts there "constitute a material investment risk for your security holders."