September 25, 2012 / 4:48 PM / in 6 years

China commerce minister asks Canada be fair with state firms

TORONTO (Reuters) - China’s minister of commerce said on Wednesday that the country’s state-owned companies act as corporations and obey local laws as he asked Canadian regulators to make a “fair and objective” analysis of their involvement in acquisitions.

Chen Deming spoke as Canada studies CNOOC Ltd’s (0883.HK) planned $15.1 billion acquisition of Nexen Inc NXY.TO

While he did not specifically mention the proposed deal in a speech to a Toronto business audience, Chen said the country’s state-owned corporations, which include CNOOC, do not operate any differently than privately owned companies.

“I hope our Canadian colleagues can have a very fair and objective analysis of these companies,” Chen said.

Reporting by Julie Gordon; Writing by Scott Haggett; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson

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