MITSUI AND CO Value Stock - Dividend - Research Selection
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Description of the company
Throughout this section “B. Business Overview,” we describe the domicile of our subsidiaries and associated companies, in parentheses following names of those companies. For example, Mitsui Iron Ore Development Pty. Ltd. (Australia) means that the company’s name is Mitsui Iron Ore Development Pty. Ltd. and that it is domiciled in Australia. Nature of Our Operations and Principal Activities
We are a general trading company engaged in a range of global business activities including worldwide trading of various commodities, arranging financing for customers and suppliers in connection with our trading activities, organizing and coordinating industrial projects, participating in financing and investing arrangements, assisting in the procurement of raw materials and equipment, providing new technologies and processes for manufacturing, and coordinating transportation and marketing of finished goods. Our trading activities as a general trading company include the sale, distribution, purchase, marketing, supply of and dealing in a wide variety of products and services, as a principal or an agent, including iron and steel, non-ferrous metals, machinery, electronics, chemicals, energy-related commodities and products, food products, textiles, general merchandise and real estate. We also participate in the development of natural resources such as oil, gas, iron and steel raw materials. Recently, we have been proactively making strategic business investments whereby we invest our own capital and provide management expertise in the development of joint ventures and new enterprises in certain industries such as infrastructure, renewable energy and environmental solution businesses.
While we continue to diversify our activities, the provision of services remains one of our core activities. Specifically, we act as an intermediary between customers and suppliers engaged in import, export, and offshore and domestic trading activities. For example, we develop markets overseas for exporters and locate raw materials or product sources that meet the needs of importers. To facilitate smooth customer transactions between customers and suppliers, we draw upon our various capabilities such as market information analysis, credit supervision, financing and transportation logistics.
In addition to our Head Office, Mitsui had 12 branches and offices located in Japan and 140 branches, offices and overseas trading subsidiaries(1) located in other parts of the world as of April 1, 2010. They provide market information to each other and cooperate in developing various business opportunities.
The U.S. Department of State designates Iran, Sudan, Syria and Cuba as state sponsors of terrorism and subjects them to export controls. As a globally operating organization, we conduct business with entities in various countries including Iran, Sudan and Syria. Our activities with entities in these states are insignificant when compared to our entire business (limited to approximately 1% of our consolidated revenues, gross profit and assets for the years ended March 31, 2010, 2009 and 2008). However, we are aware that our reputation is determined largely by others and is inherently outside of our direct control.
In addition, we have internal procedures to ensure compliance with both the sanctions imposed by the Security Council of the United Nations, and the licensing and other requirements of Japanese regulations with respect to export of products for military use and/or dual use to certain countries including those countries mentioned above, and we pay attention to compliance with the relevant regulations of other countries, which include the Export Administration Regulations of the U.S. Department of Commerce as well as other relevant U.S. regulations.
Our Iran-related operations consist both of business activities where we act as principal and those where we act as agent. As principal, we have purchased crude oil, oil products and petrochemical products such as ammonia and methanol from Iranian entities and sold them in Japan and elsewhere. In addition, we have sold some steel and chemical products to Iranian entities but in smaller amounts when compared with the purchase transactions. We have also acted as an agent for Japanese companies (such as Japanese engineering and heavy machinery companies), and assist them with various aspects of entering into and completing industrial projects in Iran. Mitsui has only one asset located in Iran: a subsidiary which renders services to support Mitsui’s implementation of the above-mentioned activities. We currently have no plan to expand our Iran-related operations.
The Iran Sanctions Act of 1996, as amended, or the ISA, provides for certain sanctions against any person, including a non-U.S. company, that among other things knowingly makes investments of $20 million or more (or any combination of smaller investments with an aggregate value of $20 million or more in any 12-month period) that contribute to the enhancement of Iran’s ability to develop petroleum resources, or that transfers goods or services made with the knowledge that they will contribute materially to that country’s weapons capabilities. In July 2010, the ISA was enhanced by expanding the scope of sanctions-triggering activity, which now includes the provision of goods, services, technology, information, or support that could facilitate the maintenance or expansion of Iran’s domestic production of refined petroleum products as well as exportation of such products to Iran. We closely monitor these and other regulatory changes and continue to enhance our internal control mechanism to ensure full compliance with the enhanced rules.
Our Sudan-related operations consist of sales of chemical raw materials such as urethanes used for the production of polyurethane foams, in which we act as an agent, where our counterparties are neither Sudanese governmental bodies nor entities engaged in oil exploration and production in the country.
Our Syria-related operations consist of sales of chemical products such as urethanes and agrochemicals (insecticides) as well as sundry goods such as photographic film, neither of which are designed for any military use, to non-governmental entities.
We do not have any assets or employees in Sudan and Syria due to extremely low activity levels.
We do not expect to expand our activities with these countries in the foreseeable future.
Seasonality of Our Business Activities
The trading of individual products such as heating oil, foods and textiles is influenced by seasonal factors. For example, heating oil is traded more frequently in winter than in summer months. Another example is our food wholesale business where the revenues of MITSUI FOODS CO., LTD. (Japan) increase from October to December and decrease from January to March, reflecting seasonal consumption habit in Japan. Nonetheless, the seasonality of any product either individually or in the aggregate has marginal impact on our annual operating results.
Dependence on Patents and Licenses and Industrial, Commercial or Financial Contracts
We have various patents and licenses as well as industrial, commercial and financial contracts (including contracts with customers or suppliers) to conduct our business. These patents, licenses or contracts either individually or in the aggregate are not material to our business operations or results of operations.