Reports in the Chinese press have suggested that the US brewing giant, Anheuser-Busch, is poised to raise its stake in the Chinese brewery, Tsingtao, from 5% to 27%.

According to the reports, Anheuser-Busch is expected to pay around HK$1.2 billion to purchase the additional shares, based on an offer price of HK$4.20 per share, representing around a HK$1 premium to the current trading price. If the deal goes through it would make Anheuser-Busch the largest shareholder in the Chinese company after the state-run Tsingtao State-Owned Assets Management Bureau.

The speculation follows the announcement last week that the two companies had signed an agreement to form a strategic partnership which led to an immediate surge in Tsingtao's share price.