UPDATE 1-Canada mum on Petronas bid for Progress as deadline approaches

Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:47pm EDT
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* Friday is deadline for deciding on Petronas bid

* Ottawa could offer insight into CNOOC's bid for Nexen

SAINT-HUBERT, Quebec Oct 19 (Reuters) - Canada declined to say on Friday whether it had approved Malaysian state oil company Petronas' C$5.2 billion ($5.3 billion) bid for gas producer Progress Energy Resources Corp, even as a midnight eastern (0400 GMT) deadline approached.

Earlier this month, Industry Minister Christian Paradis extended the review period for the bid to Friday. Officials said he would not make an announcement while markets were open.

"I won't comment on any specifics. When the decision is ... made, I will announce it properly," Paradis told reporters in the town of Saint-Hubert, Quebec, outside Montreal.

Contacted after markets had closed, Paradis spokeswoman Margaux Stastny referred Reuters back to the Minister's comments from earlier in the day.

If approved, the acquisition would mark the first time an Asian state investor has bought out its Canadian partner in a gas project.

Developments on Petronas' bid may also offer clues as to whether Canada will approve CNOOC Ltd's landmark $15.1 billion for Nexen Inc. The deadline for that review is Nov. 11.