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Harper Says Canada to Decide on Nexen, Investment Rules

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the government will make decisions on foreign-investment guidelines and on whether to approve “a couple” of proposals including Cnooc Ltd.’s $15.1 billion bid for Canada’s Nexen Inc. in “the near future.”

“We intend obviously to make decisions on a couple of particular matters along with some more general guidance to the marketplace; we intend to do that in the near future,” Harper said at a press conference in Ottawa today where he is meeting Mexican President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto.

Canada is reviewing the sale of Calgary-based Nexen and an appeal of Petroliam Nasional Bhd.’s rejected C$5.2 billion ($5.24 billion) bid for Progress Energy Resources Corp. The country’s foreign takeover law says that transactions must have a “net benefit” to the country to win approval, and the government is also working on a broader set of investment guidelines.

Harper’s response didn’t name Petronas directly today.

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