State-owned takeovers must be treated equally by Ottawa: China expert

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CALGARY - With a federal review of a Malaysian state-owned company's takeover of Progress Energy set to end Friday, observers are looking for signals about the government's thinking on a Chinese firm's larger — and more controversial — deal to buy Calgary-based Nexen Inc.

Both takeovers are by Asian state-owned players, cost billions of dollars and sprung from partnerships with Canadian firms.

Political scientist Wenran Jiang says the challenge for Ottawa will be to show consistency in how it applies the Investment Canada Act's key net benefit test to foreign deals

He says Chinese state-owned firms are unfairly perceived by many Canadians to be more menacing than state-owned firms from elsewhere in the world.

The review of the $6-billion Petronas-Progress deal is to run until Friday, unless it's extended again.

Industry Minister Christian Paradis has extended the review of the $15.1-billion CNOOC-Nexen deal until mid-November.

Organizations: Progress Energy, Nexen Inc.

Geographic location: Ottawa, China, CALGARY Canada

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