The Straits Times
Published on Oct 21, 2012

Canada says still welcomes foreign investment despite Petronas


CALGARY (REUTERS) - Canada said on Saturday it still invites foreign investment in natural resources despite its surprise rejection of a C$5.17 billion (S$6.3 billion) takeover of Progress Energy Resources Corp by Malaysia's Petronas, a deal that had been expected to pass muster easily.

The rejection late on Friday of the buyout of Progress, a natural gas producer, has sparked criticism from some investors about perceived protectionism and raised questions whether the larger and more controversial bid for Nexen by China's CNOOC Ltd has a chance of being approved.

"Canada has one of the best investment climates in the world and a long-standing reputation for welcoming foreign investment," said Ms Margaux Stastny, spokesman for Industry Minister Christian Paradis, who blocked the Petronas bid minutes before the deadline for a decision.

"Canada has a broad framework in place to promote trade and investment, while at the same time protecting Canadian interests. Our government welcomes foreign investment that benefits Canada," Stastny said in an email.