KUALA LUMPUR Nov 12 Malaysia's Petronas
aims to overcome Canada's opposition to its $5.2
billion bid for Progress Energy Resources by adding
more independent directors to the board of the gas producer, the
Financial Times reported.
The newspaper cited the Malaysian state oil firm's chief
executive Shamsul Azhar Abbas as saying in an interview that
Petronas was prepared to make the move to soothe Canada's
concerns about a lack of transparency after the takeover.
Canada blocked Petronas's bid for Progress last month, with
Industry Minister Christian Paradis saying it was unlikely to
bring a "net benefit" to the country. Petronas and Progress are
planning a multibillion-dollar liquefied natural gas plant on
Canada's West Coast.
Petronas has said it plans to make further submissions to
"We've told them if you want more transparency from us we're
prepared to increase the number of independent directors (on the
Progress board). It's good governance," Shamsul was quoted as
saying by the newspaper.
Shamsul also said Petronas as a whole had become more
transparent since he took over in 2010, even though he reported
ultimately to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
"In terms of governance and transparency we are not a
publicly listed company but we behave as one. There is no
interference from the government," Shamsul said.
Petronas is Malaysia's largest single taxpayer and its
biggest source of revenue, covering as much as 45 percent of the
government's annual budget.
Shamsul said Petronas has been in talks to cut special
dividend payments to the government, which amounted to 28
billion ringgit last year. The dividend would be cut next year
by a billion ringgit and likely fall further each year, he said.