Canada's Paradis denies meeting Malaysian minister on Petronas

OTTAWA Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:55am EST

OTTAWA Nov 29 (Reuters) - Canadian Industry Minister Christian Paradis denied a report on Thursday that he had met a Malaysian minister over the bid by Malaysian state-owned oil company Petronas for Progress Energy Resources Corp .

Bloomberg reported on Thursday that a source familiar with the matter said Idris Jala, a minister without portfolio in the cabinet of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, had flown to Canada and assured officials including Paradis that Malaysia does not interfere in the day-to-day management of Petronas.

"I didn't meet with him," Paradis told Reuters.

Canada is wrestling with how to deal with state-owned enterprises as it considers both Petronas's C$5.2 billion ($5.3 billion) offer and a $15.1 billion bid by Chinese state-owned oil firm CNOOC Ltd for Nexen Inc.

One concern is that companies owned by foreign governments might not operate strictly on a commercial basis.

Canada is widely expected to decide on both deals and on an overall framework for foreign investment by Dec. 10, the deadline for deciding on the CNOOC bid.

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