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Flaherty discussed issue of state-run bids at G20

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Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said he had some good discussions with his counterparts at the G20 meeting on how to cope with the issue of investments by foreign state-owned firms.

Last week Canada extended to December 10 its review of a $15.1-billion bid by China's CNOOC Ltd for Nexen (NXY-T), a Calgary-based energy company.

Ottawa also temporarily blocked a bid by the Malaysian state oil firm Petronas to acquire Progress Energy Resources (PRQ-T) on October 20, giving it 30 days to make new representations to the government.

Flaherty said other countries have also struggled with the issue and he said officials at the meeting talked about how they handled the issue.

"Some countries have struggled with it and I had actually some very good discussions with them about how they approached the issue, how they managed it," Flaherty told reporters.

He said Ottawa will continue to carefully review the issue before making any decisions on the pending bids.

"As you know these transactions that are proposed in Canada are subject to review and they're being reviewed carefully now," he said. "And there will be decisions but it will be some time yet before decisions are made."

Flaherty did not say which countries he discussed the matter with. A senior government official said last week he would meet in Mexico City with his Australian and British counterparts.

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