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OTTAWA – Prime Minister Stephen Harper ended months of market uncertainty by approving the foreign takeovers of Calgary-based Nexen Inc. and Progress Energy Resources Corp. — but insisted future appropriations by state-owned firms in the oilsands would become the exception rather than rule.

China’s CNOOC and Malaysia’s Petronas, both Asian state-controlled enterprises, received the OK late Friday as part of a wide-ranging update of foreign-takeover rules.