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July 31st, 2012

Nexen deal needs more scrutiny in wake of allegations

With SEC filing insider trading complaint, Conservatives must allow public review of deal

OTTAWA – New Democrats are renewing their push for greater public scrutiny of the proposed buyout of Nexen by the state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) after serious allegations of insider trading were raised by the United States Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) late last week.

“With the SEC filing complaints against Hong Kong based investors on Friday, we need a closer examination of this deal,” said Helene LeBlanc NDP Industry Critic and MP for LaSalle—Émard. “Conservatives must agree to hold a thorough, transparent and public review of this takeover.”

Zhang Zhi Rong, one of the wealthiest men in China, along with other investors are alleged to have made $13-million through inside knowledge of the proposed buyout of Canadian company Nexen by the state owned CNOOC.

Zhang is chairman of Rongsheng Heavy Industries Group, which entered a strategic cooperation agreement with CNOOC in 2010.

“Allegations of insider trading are extremely serious and must be a wake-up call for the Conservatives. Now isn’t the time to sit back and rubber stamp this deal,” said NDP Natural Resources Critic Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster). “Conservatives must show they are on the side of Canadians, not the company, and allow public hearings into this proposed $15.1 billion cash deal.”

New Democrats added that when it comes to protecting Canadian jobs and industry, they will continue to hold the Conservative government to account.