Harper Says Takeover Reciprocity Is Challenge, Post Reports

Nov. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he is concerned about the lack of openness by other countries toward Canadian companies as his government prepares new rules on foreign investment.

“The real issue is, are we going to get that reciprocal openness in other countries? And that’s the real challenge,” Harper told the National Post newspaper in an interview published today. “You know, we could block a whole lot more investments than we are and be still one of the most open regimes in the world.”

Canada yesterday extended its review of Beijing-based Cnooc Ltd.’s $15.1 billion takeover of Nexen Inc. for a second time, re-setting the deadline to Dec. 10.

Harper’s government began its review of the bid for the Calgary oil-and-gas producer under the country’s foreign-takeover law after it was announced on July 23. On Oct. 11, Industry Minister Christian Paradis said he extended the review by 30 days.

Canada has a “generally open policy, but we’re determined to make sure that while we welcome foreign investment that we make sure that it’s in the best interest of this country,” Harper told the National Post.

To contact the reporter on this story: Frederic Tomesco in Montreal at tomesco@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ed Dufner at edufner@bloomberg.net