(Corrects value of deal in lead)
SYDNEY, Oct 6 (Reuters) - A senior Chinese government official urged European regulators to reject BHP Billiton Ltd/Plc's BPH.AXBLT.L $89 billion bid for Rio Tinto Ltd/PLC RIO.AXRIO.L, saying it would be harmful to the global economy, the Sydney Morning Herald paper reported.
Speaking at a conference in Melbourne at the weekend Xiaoye Wang, senior adviser to China’s State Council and National People’s Congress, also said the deal would hurt China and should be reviewed by the country’s anti-monopoly agency.
“China is the biggest consumer of iron ore products and 40 percent is from Australia. After the merger there will be two competitors only. I believe this is harmful for competition,” Wang was quoted saying.
Wang, who helped draft China’s anti-trust law which came into force on Aug. 1, said China had no regulatory jurisdiction over any deal between BHP and Rio.
But she said: “I hope very much European regulators will reject it.”
Last week, BHP got clearance for its bid from Australia’s competition regulator.
The European Commission has set a Jan. 15 deadline for its in depth review of the deal, having previously flagged its concerns about the impact of surging commodity prices on manufacturers and consumers. (Reporting by James Thornhill; Editing by Sonali Paul)
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