Foreign Control of Canadian Mining
This morning, Statistics Canada released Corporations Returns Act data for 2007:
Foreign acquisitions of Canadian-controlled firms, particularly in manufacturing and oil and gas, drove a 10.6% increase in Canadian assets under foreign control in 2007. Canadian assets under Canadian control rose 9.9%, led by the depository credit intermediation industry.
As a result of these movements, foreign-controlled firms accounted for 21.3% of corporate assets in 2007, up slightly from 21.1% the year before.
Foreign investors took over substantial chunks of manufacturing and the oil patch. On the other hand, the banks (which are Canadian-controlled) greatly increased their assets prior to the financial crisis. Therefore, theÂ overall proportion of corporate assets under foreign control did not change much.
Given the controversy around certain foreign-controlled mining companies, I was interested in the data on that industry. Unfortunately, Statistics Canada deems the mining data for 2007 â€œtoo unreliable to be published.â€
However, the major foreign takeovers in mining occurred during 2006. The Corporations Returns Act publication for 2006 had indicated that foreign-controlled mining assets jumped from $10 billion in 2005 to $39 billion in 2006. In other words, foreign control of Canadian mining rose from 12% to 40%.
Todayâ€™s publication for 2007 does include revised figures for 2006, which reveal an even more dramatic story. In fact, foreign-controlled mining assets jumped from $10 billion in 2005 to $54 billion in 2006. So, foreign control of Canadian mining actually rose from 12% to 48%.