* Says not aware of China-Canada quid pro quo talks
* Govt under pressure to clarify foreign investment rules
* Happy with housing moderation, eyes deficit elimination
By David Ljunggren
OTTAWA, Oct 24 Canadian Finance Minister Jim
Flaherty said on Wednesday he knew of no direct talks between
Canadian and Chinese officials about making approval of CNOOC
Ltd's bid for Nexen Inc conditional on the
approval of Canadian deals in China.
"There have been no direct discussions on that subject of
which I am aware," Flaherty told reporters in response to a
question about reciprocity.
The government has come under pressure to clarify its
position on foreign investment after a shock decision to block a
bid by Petronas for Progress Energy. Many saw
that as raising the risk of CNOOC's bid also being rejected.
Flaherty said work was being done to clarify foreign
investment rules and stressed that substantial capital
investment was needed for major projects in the oil-rich west of
the country and elsewhere.
He said the government remained on track to eliminate the
federal deficit in the medium term and was happy to note some
moderation in the Canadian residential housing market.
Canada's housing market boomed after the last recession,
leading some policymakers to fear a bubble was forming.