LONDON — Stephen Harper thanked British Prime Minister David Cameron for his “robust advocacy” on behalf of a free-trade pact between Canada and the European Union during his address Thursday in London to British lawmakers.
A 30-minute speech that touched upon topics ranging from the economy to global security and shared values between Canada and the United Kingdom was also notable for Harper’s pitch for the prized trade agreement his Conservative government has long sought.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he will toughen investment rules for foreign state-owned companies after approving bids by CNOOC and Petroliam Nasional Bhd.
Canada will no longer allow state-owned companies to takeover businesses in the nation’s oil sands and will toughen requirements in other industries. Today, he approved CNOOC’s $15.1-billion takeover of Nexen and Petronas’s $5.2-billion takeover of Progress Energy Resources Corp.
In a press conference, Harper said those two transactions are the end of a “trend.”
MONTREAL • Quebec’s market watchdog says it is pursuing talks with other provinces to try to strike a compromise on changes to Canada’s takeover bid and defensive tactics regulation.
“The vulnerability of our public companies is a Canadian problem, not only a Quebec one,” Louis Morisset, chief executive of the Autorité des marchés financiers, said in the text of a speech to the Canadian Club of Montreal Monday. “[We need to] re-establish a proper balance of power between a board of directors and an opportunistic buyer.”
TORONTO — It would be foolish for Canadian rules on foreign investment to be too clear because Ottawa needs a certain amount of discretion when considering takeover bids, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Friday.
Last December, Canada allowed China’s CNOOC Ltd to buy domestic energy firm Nexen Inc despite unhappiness among some legislators in the ruling Conservative Party, who said they did not like the idea of foreign state-owned enterprises buying Canadian energy assets.
The world’s largest buyout company, The Blackstone Group L.P. (BX), will stop charging extra fees to companies that it controls due to increasing oversight by US regulators and rising concern among Blackstone’s own investors.
The British bank has set aside $2 billion against fines, settlements and other expenses related to money-laundering accusations in the United States and claims against the inappropriate selling of financial products in Britain.
The British government may start selling its stakes in the Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland as soon as next year, following a strategy similar to the one employed by the United States as it exited Citigroup.
British companies will have better protection against so-called virtual bids under changes proposed by the Takeover Panel, which comes in the wake of the political furore over Kraft Foods’ takeover of Cadbury