OTTAWA Canadian Industry Minister Christian Paradis denied a report on Thursday that he had met a Malaysian minister over the bid by Malaysian state-owned oil company Petronas PETR.UL for Progress Energy Resources Corp (PRQ.TO).
Bloomberg reported on Thursday that a source familiar with the matter said Idris Jala, a minister without portfolio in the cabinet of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, had flown to Canada and assured officials including Paradis that Malaysia does not interfere in the day-to-day management of Petronas.
"I didn't meet with him," Paradis told Reuters.
Canada is wrestling with how to deal with state-owned enterprises as it considers both Petronas's C$5.2 billion (3.3 billion pounds) offer and a $15.1 billion (9.4 billion pounds) bid by Chinese state-owned oil firm CNOOC Ltd (0883.HK) for Nexen Inc. NXY.TO
One concern is that companies owned by foreign governments might not operate strictly on a commercial basis.
Canada is widely expected to decide on both deals and on an overall framework for foreign investment by December 10, the deadline for deciding on the CNOOC bid.
(Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by Leslie Adler)