Ohio looks to divest from firms connected to Iran

State pension plans in Ohio would sell their stock in companies including Nestle, Siemens AG, and Honda Manufacturing of America under a proposal to divest from international companies doing business in Iran, according to a news report. The state's five retirement funds would pull investments in about 140 companies that employ 51,740 state residents, according to the research for the State Teachers Retirement System by Institutional Shareholders Services of Rockville, Maryland, the Beacon Journal newspaper reported. Pension fund leaders announced their opposition to the bill Wednesday, as some lawmakers worried that the plan would make Ohio seem unfriendly to large international businesses. Republican Rep. Josh Mandel, a sponsor of the bill in the Republican-controlled state Legislature, said the pension funds have invested knowingly in companies with financial ties in Iran.