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TORONTO–Nexen Inc. shareholders, as expected, overwhelmingly voted in favor of Cnooc Ltd.’s proposed $15.1 billion takeover of the Calgary-based energy company.

At a shareholder meeting in Calgary on Thursday, Nexen said 99% of votes cast by common shareholders supported the deal. The meeting was webcast.

However, the closely scrutinized transaction still needs approvals from Canada’s industry ministry, as well as from U.S. and European regulators. It represents the biggest test yet of the developed world’s willingness to accept Chinese capital for control of strategic resources.

State-controlled Cnooc is China’s largest offshore oil company by production. By acquiring Nexen it would gain ownership of oil and gas reserves in western Canada, the U.K. North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Nigeria.

“Today’s shareholder vote is one step in the transaction’s approval process,” Kevin Reinhart, Nexen’s interim president and chief executive, told shareholders following the vote. “It’s now in the [regulators’] hand to assess the transaction,” he said.

-By Ben Dummett. (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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  • Heidi

    Say no to the Nexen deal if the OSC made no mistake to allege Sino-forest a fraud

    The Ontario Securities commission stated in its fraud allegation against Sino-forest:””certain PRC forestry bureau employees obtained gifts and cash payments from Suppliers of Sino-Forest,further undermining the value of the Confirmations as evidence of ownership.”

    If the OSC cannot even trust the Chinese government bureaus, Canadians have to ask: how can the FIPA ensure greater protection to Canadian investors when the Chinese government itself is distrusted? How can Canadians trust the Chinese to do what they promised to do in the Nexen deal or in any other business co-operation with Canada?

    It is obvious: either the OSC has made a mistake of distrusting the Chinese government officials and its allegation against Sino-forest is wrong, or the Chinese government is not ready to be a proper business partner of Canada yet, as the OSC has proved.

    A transparent review process for Sino-forest case is necessary before the Nexen deal should be allowed to go through.

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