Investment bank Citigroup has raised its rating of Heineken NV to 'buy' from 'hold'.

The bank's analysts also increased their target on the brewer to EUR52 from EUR49.

This month, Scottish & Newcastle rejected a bid put forward jointly by Carlsberg and Heineken to acquire the UK brewer for 720p a share.

In a note, Citigroup said that it felt that a counter bid was unlikely given Carlsberg's blocking stake in the S&N joint venture Baltic Beverages Holdings (BBH). Carlsberg and S&N hold 50% of BBH each.

Citigroup instead believes that Heineken and Carlsberg will increase their offer, with a deal between 750-850p likely.