* Minister visited after initial rejection of Petronas
* Minister was there when new representations were made
* Petronas had 30 days after Paradis first rejection
By Randall Palmer
OTTAWA, Nov 29 A Malaysian minister flew to
Canada to discuss with federal officials the bid by Malaysian
state-owned oil company Petronas for Progress Energy
Resources Corp after Canada initially turned it down,
Canadian Industry Minister Christian Paradis said on Thursday.
Idris Jala, a minister without portfolio in the cabinet of
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, met Deputy Industry
Minister John Knubley and discussed the bid with Canadian
officials after Paradis' rejection of it on Oct.
"When I made the decision that it was not likely to be of
net benefit to Canada, they had 30 days to make more
representation. So this is what they did. I can confirm they
did. I can confirm that the minister was there with the...
team," Paradis told Reuters.
"They made their case, and when I'm ready to go with a
decision, I will ... but I cannot speculate and cannot comment
on what has been exchanged in substance. I'm not allowed to do
Paradis denied a Bloomberg report that said he himself had
met the Malaysian minister.
Canada has been 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. The Petronas
deal has been caught up in the higher-profile CNOOC bid, which
is more controversial because of anxiety over or distrust of
China on the part of some Canadian politicians and decision
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.
Paradis declined to say whether, in the discussions with the
various companies, the government had run or was running
elements of the planned new framework by them to help them craft
"Once again, I cannot speculate about that. There have been
discussions ongoing, and when I'm ready to make a decision, I
will," he said.