Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Energy News .

Canada frets over foreign takeover bids
by Staff Writers
Ottawa (UPI) Sep 26, 2012

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Canada fears foreign ownership of its key corporations and resource entities, officials said in private and public comments mirrored in the media.

Nowhere is the concern more pronounced than in the energy sector.

The oft-repeated Canadian anxiety over foreign share ownership in strategic industries, particularly resource-based energy companies, raw materials producers and utilities resurfaced after the latest state-backed Chinese attempt to buy into Nexen energy firm.

Canadian sensitivity to foreign ownership from beyond Europe and the United States generates frequent media criticism and media campaigns fanned by political opposition parties and dissenting voices in Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said rigorous checks and balances were required when faced with foreign takeovers of resources companies in Canada.

Kenney echoed concerns expressed in Canada and the United States over foreign sovereign wealth funds emerging as shareholders of sensitive entities deemed strategic or vital for national security interest.

Opposition to such takeovers is based on both security concerns and criticism of the foreign states' track record in governance and human rights. Kenney criticized China for its human rights record.

State-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation is hoping for a Canadian government go-ahead for a $15.1 billion takeover bid for Nexen, which has headquarters in Calgary.

"I think most Canadians want to ensure that the government applies a rigorous lens to acquisitions of large Canadian resource companies, particularly by state-owned enterprises," said Kenney, quoted by The Gazette newspaper in Montreal and other Canadian media.

The Nexen deal is being examined under the Investment Canada Act, which requires foreign takeovers to be of net benefit to the nation. Critics want Canadian firms to look elsewhere and shun Chinese equity investments.

The issue has also drawn spotlight from the Canadian intelligence services, which particularly cited state-owned foreign companies that could be pursuing their own agenda or the purposes of the foreign government.

Critics cite Europe's dependence on energy supplies from Russia and former members of the Soviet Union.

Kenney said Canada looked forward to "a balanced approach on Canada-China relations, one that advances both our interests, such as trade and commerce, and our values such as the importance of human rights."

Top oil industry executives are asking Ottawa for rules to protect Canadian ownership of major oil sands companies from a flood of foreign investment expected in the sector, The Globe and Mail said on its website.

Canada's oil sands contain the third-largest crude oil reserves in the world and are a strategically critical resource for the country, industry executives argue, said the newspaper.

They support the proposed acquisition of Nexen Inc. by CNOOC but note the deal signals growing foreign interest in the oil sands and insist Ottawa needs to ensure a substantial level of domestic ownership as more deals loom.

"I think it is important to get some ground rules in place before the next one," said Murray Edwards, chief executive officer of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., one of Canada's biggest energy companies and a major oil sands player.

Edwards was among a large contingent of top executives gathered in Ottawa for a two-day session on how Canada should position itself to take full advantage of Asia's investor potential.

"There is a tidal wave that is heading out of China in the next decade and I don't think we're ready for it," University of Toronto economist Wendy Dobson said. Chinese firms will be looking to invest more than $1 trillion in the coming decade to acquire access to resources and related technology, The Globe and Mail said, quoting Dobson.


Related Links
Global Trade News

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Workers protest at Italy steel mill facing closure
Rome (AFP) Sept 26, 2012
Workers staged a new protest Wednesday against the proposed shuttering of the ILVA steel mill in southern Italy, which has been accused of generating massive pollution and causing high cancer rates. Protesters climbed a blast furnace and occupied a 60-metre (almost 200 feet) high platform at the mill, the largest in Europe, in the latest twist in a saga that has divided the poor city of Tara ... read more

Think twice before imposing carbon tariffs: researchers

Home sweet lab: Computerized house to generate as much energy as it uses

'Smart growth' strategies curb car use, greenhouse gas emissions

China to invest $3.5 bn in Zimbabwe power plant: report

Pricing pressures for Australian LNG

Libyan violence threatens oil recovery

Total head against environment risk of Arctic oil: FT report

France's top court upholds convictions over Erika oil spill

Wind power faces tax credit uncertainty

Sufficient wind energy available to meet global demands without damaging climate

Report backs greater role for wind energy

Wind could meet many times world's total power demand by 2030

EU solar panel makers want fresh China probe

Imec and SolarWorld present ultra-thin PERC-based PV module that achieves Class A module efficiencies

Two-thirds of the world's new solar panels were installed in Europe in 2011

SolarBridge Technologies Introduces New Monitoring System

India to press forward with nuclear power

Alert stops nuclear reactor in Sweden

Fishermen protest against Indian nuclear plant

23 nuclear power plants are in tsunami risk areas

Most biofuels are not green

New Uses for Old Tools Could Boost Biodiesel Output

World's first biofuel jet flight to take off in Canada

Sorghum Eyed as a Southern Bioenergy Crop

China Spacesat gets 18-million-USD gov't support

Tiangong Orbit Change Signals Likely Date for Shenzhou 10

China Focus: Timeline for China's space research revealed

China eyes next lunar landing as US scales back

Lib Dems, Labor call for decarbonization

Global warming slows down world economy: report

Constraining world trade is unlikely to help the climate

Stratosphere targets deep sea to shape climate

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement