Monday, January 25, 2010

While Media Sleeps Korea Puts Canada on Its Radar

While our media are cooking up 25 year old stories in a Who Will Be Canada's Next New Senators' contest, we have to go to Hong Kong to discover that Harper is once again trading our country for a handful of beans.

This move will drastically reduce Canada's revenue and greatly hamper our ability to take care of our citizens. And of course with no opposition, we have no say in the matter.

The Dictator announced today that he has made his first move to eliminate public health care in Canada and there's nothing we can do about it. (I think he also stuck out his tongue and said "so, there!") And by trading away our natural resources we are toast.

I mentioned this morning that one of the things that CAPP is doing, is informing citizens. I'm trying to generate a 'tell five friends' rally, whenever we hear of something underhanded this man has been up to. I started today by telling everyone to tell five friends that out public health care was now officially on the chopping block.

As one CAPP member stated though, after sharing this story from Hong Kong:

The only immediate and practical remedy to this financial pandemic is the immediate adoption of the Marshall Plan in Budget 2010, or a complete rescinding of this absurd tax policy that is destroying Canada’s tax base and disenfranchising Canadians from the country they live and pay taxes in.

(Pssst ... tell five friends.)

Korean Oil puts Canada on its radar
Miyoung Kim and Joseph Chaney

SEOUL/HONG KONG - Korea National Oil Corp (KNOC), sitting on a multi-billion-dollar warchest, is setting its sights on Canada as the state-owned company aims to ramp up production and catch up to Asian rivals.

Seoul said this month that cashed-up KNOC will spend $6.5-billion (U.S.) on M&A in 2010 in an effort to cut South Korea's almost total dependence on imported oil. That goal will put the company in direct competition with Asian energy giants such as PetroChina, Malaysia's Petronas, and India's ONGC.

KNOC may be eyeing assets offered by such Canadian companies as its top oil firm Suncor Energy, No.2 independent petroleum producer, EnCana Corp. and No.3 independent oil explorer Talisman Energy.

In addition, Canadian oil sands company Opti Canada and its peer Nexen Inc. are seen as potential acquisition targets. Their shares moved up as recently as late last year on speculation of bids from Chinese energy giants. So far, no public offers have emerged.

"KNOC, Sinopec - they are all here and they are all looking at Canadian oil and gas," an investment banker at a major Canadian bank told Reuters. "I guarantee you will see some M&A activity in Canada this year. The government is being very welcoming."

... KNOC needs to seal a deal with a sizable oil firm within six months to boost production to 300,000 barrels of oil per day by the end of this year, bringing forward its target by two years, chief executive Kang Young-won has said. KNOC's current production is about 129,000 bpd. Canada is not unknown turf for KNOC, having sealed a $1.7-billion takeover of Canada's Harvest Energy in October.

According to investment bankers familiar with the company and its plans, KNOC is eyeing more opportunities in Canada.

"Canada is very friendly to acquisitions by foreign investors - it would be the country to look at, especially with lots of oil sands projects now being valued very cheaply," said Gordon Kwan, head of regional energy research at Mirae Asset Securities.

Next Target In November, Opti said it was looking at a possible sale of the company, which is heavily indebted. It needs cash for planned future phases in the development of its Long Lake oil sands project. "We're well underway but .. it's not a near-term event," chief executive officer Chris Slubicki told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the TD Newcrest oil conference in London earlier this month.

... China has already made a strong push into Canada's oil sands, and is widely expected to seek more deals this year. In August, PetroChina agreed to pay $1.8-billion for the purchase of majority stakes in projects planned by Athabasca Oil Sands Corp in Alberta. In 2006, KNOC made a foray into that part of the business by acquiring an oil sands property in Canada from Newmont Mining Corp.

But full takeovers aren't the only option on KNOC's menu. The company is also interested in asset deals - buying portions of large companies with significant output. "KNOC is looking at various options - it could be a single large deal or they can go for smaller deals to meet the target," said a Korean government source who is familiar with KNOC's strategy but was not authorised to talk to the media.

... "If the Korean won can still strengthen against the U.S. dollar, then it will accelerate their acquisition pace," said Mr. Kwan of Mirae. KNOC's M&A ambitions are at the heart of South Korea's drive to invest a record $12-billion in overseas resources assets this year, as the country seeks a secure energy supply.

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