Heineken has completed a joint-venture deal with Efes Breweries International to supply the growing Serbian beer market.

Both brewers announced this week that they had officially created Central Europe Beverages, to operate in Serbia.

Heineken will take a 72% share in the Netherlands-based venture, leaving Efes with 28%, the firms said. The brewers have also agreed to merge operations in Kazakhstan, which will result in the same split in ownership.

Financial details of the deals have not been disclosed.

Serbia is part of a new wave of emerging beer markets in Eastern Europe. Heineken said this week that volumes of its namesake brand in Serbia, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania had all risen by 20% or more for the first half of 2008.

Value growth was driven by the more established regional markets of Russia, Greece and Romania, however.

The brewer's volumes across Central and Eastern Europe increased 12% to 25m hectolitres during the six months, while revenue rose 14% to EUR1.76bn (US$2.6bn).