Kirin Gains as Domestic Beer Barrel Shipments Increase

March 13 (Bloomberg) -- Kirin Holdings Co., Japan’s biggest brewer by market value, rose to the highest in about six months in Tokyo trading after an increase in the nation’s domestic shipments of beer barrels.

The stock rose 2.1 percent to close at 1,018 yen, the highest since Sept. 1. Second-ranked Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. slid 2.3 percent.

Shipments of beer barrels, typically used in beer halls, rose 1.1 percent in February, the Brewers Association of Japan said in a statement yesterday. The increase is supporting optimism that the domestic beer market is recovering, Mikihiko Yamato, an analyst at JI Asia in Tokyo, said by phone today.

“The company that benefits most in terms of share price from a recovery in the domestic shipment is Kirin, as investors had already been buying Asahi,” said Yamato, who has a ‘buy’ rating on Tokyo-based Kirin.

Asahi, which got 93 percent of its revenue in 2010 from Japan, has added 10.4 percent in the past six months, while Kirin gained 3.7 percent in the period.

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Wong at