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July 18, 2006    

Brewers do well in Europe

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by Elaine Frei

In Europe on Tuesday the FTSE Eurofirst 300 ws down by 0.1 percent to 1,271.62. The decline came as investors remained concerned about the situation in the Middle East.

Brewers, however, had a good day. Belgian brewer InBev was up 2.3 percent to €38.19 on an earlier upgrade from “add” to “buy” from Dresdner Kleinwort, which cited coming higher profits in China. Carlsberg gained 2.6 percent to DKr416 as Morgan Stanley upgraded the Danish brewer from “underweight” to “equal weight”. Heineken advanced by 3.9 percent to €34.26 on raised target share prices from Merrill Lynch and Dresdner Kleinwort after it raised its full-year prediction for growth in profits. Dresdner Kelinwort upped Heineken’s target share price from €35 to €36, while Merrill Lynch increased it’s target for the brewer from €36.50 to €38.

Elsewhere in beverages, Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling gained 2.9 percent to €24.60 after Coca-Cola in the United States reported higher than predicted profits in the second quarter. The Greek bottler is the second-largest Coca-Cola bottler in the world.

There were also gains in the engineering sector. Sandvik added 1.7 percent to SKr75.50, while Atlas Copco gained 2.5 percent to SKr166.50 after its second-quarter report said on Monday that profits were up by 32 percent.

Among the day’s losers was the automobile manufacturing sector. BMW dropped 0.9 percent to €37.70 after Deutsche Bank downgraded the carmaker from “buy” to “hold”. Daimler Chrysler was 1.3 percent lower to €37.07. Volkswagen declined by 1.4 percent to €51.56.

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