Market Chatter: Minister Says Voters Split Over CNOOC-Nexen Deal

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Canada's junior finance minister, Ted Menzies, said on Tuesday his constituents are split over Chinese state-owned CNOOC Ltd's $15.1 billion takeover bid for Canadian oil producer Nexen Inc, (NXY.TO) with some backing and others opposing the deal, Reuters reported.

The Conservative government, of which Menzies is a member, is now deciding whether to approve the CNOOC bid on the basis of whether it is of net benefit to the country. Menzies, himself, is a legislator from the oil-rich province of Alberta, where Nexen's Canadian assets are concentrated.

The bid has divided cabinet, pitting ministers keen for more investment in the tar sands of northern Alberta, one of the world's biggest crude oil deposits, against those nervous about a Chinese state-owned enterprise buying Canadian assets.

"I've heard many concerns, varying concerns, concerns about the resource industry, concerns about a foreign company investing in Canada," Menzies told reporters when asked what his constituents were telling him.

"We're hearing comments on both sides of the story, many supportive and certainly some that are concerned. What I'm hearing is more concern rather than actually not understanding the issues."

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said last month that public opinion would be taken into account when deciding the fate of CNOOC's bid.



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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

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