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MENAFN - 04/11/2012

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(MENAFN) Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper hinted willingness to block foreign acquisitions of local firms if other countries are not open to Canadian investment, Reuters reported.

Last month, Harper blocked Malaysian state oil firm Petronas's USD5.17 billion bid for gas producer Progress Energy Resources, giving it 30 days to make new representations to the government.

Recently, Canada extended to December 10 its review of a USD15.1 billion bid made in July by China's CNOOC Ltd for Canadian energy producer Nexen Inc.

Canada has twice rejected foreign investments, both under Harper government. In 2010, it rejected BHP Billiton's USD39 billion bid for Potash Corp, the world's largest fertilizer maker.

In 2009, it blocked a USD1.325 billion US offer for a satellite unit of MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates.

Harper has said his government would devise regulations when it decides on these bids, and this will be "fairly soon," but it is increasingly clear that reciprocity will figure prominently in the guidelines.

 






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