UPDATE 1-Canada still examining options on foreign energy bids

Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:24pm EST
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* Canada aiming for Dec. 10 decisions, if not before

* One report said decision could be in November

* No comment on possible Nexen sale of Syncrude stake

* Alberta premier not hesitant about foreign investment

By Randall Palmer and David Ljunggren

OTTAWA, Nov 27 (Reuters) - With deadlines fast approaching, Canada is still weighing two proposed foreign takeovers of domestic energy companies, but a top minister offered no clues on Tuesday as to when or how the government would announce the hotly debated decisions.

The government says it will unveil new policy guidelines on foreign investment at about the same time it announces verdicts on the proposed takeovers: A bid by China's CNOOC Ltd for Nexen Inc and a bid by Malaysia's Petronas for Progress Energy Resources Corp.

Although the deadline for delivering a decision on the CNOOC-Nexen deal is Dec. 10, Industry Minister Christian Paradis said officials had not finished their work yet. Paradis is in nominal charge of the file, although few political analysts doubt that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will make the ultimate decision.

"There are (takeover) reviews ongoing that I cannot comment on, but we are working on the policy framework to make sure that, in the future, foreign investment continues to provide net benefit for Canada," Paradis told reporters.   Continued...