Canada minister cites PM's concerns about foreign investment

OTTAWA Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:29am EST

OTTAWA Nov 30 (Reuters) - A top Canadian cabinet figure known to have doubts about CNOOC Ltd's bid to buy Nexen Inc. on Friday highlighted Prime Minister Stephen Harper's concerns about takeover bids by foreign state-owned enterprises.

"The prime minister ... has underscored our government's particular concern about large-scale proposed acquisitions by state-owned enterprises and the need for rigorous analysis to be undertaken for such applications," Immigration Minister Jason Kenney told reporters.

Political insiders say Kenney, a man close to Harper, has reservations about the bid.

The government has set a Dec 10 deadline for deciding whether to approve the deal, which is causing divisions inside the ruling Conservative Party. Ottawa says that at the same time it will unveil updated guidelines for foreign investment.