A report in the New York Times, claiming that Molson may sell its 80% stake in Brazilian group Kaiser hit Heineken's shares this morning. The Dutch group, which currently owns the remaining 20% of Kaiser, is seen by dealers as being the most obvious candidate to buy Molson's stake.

The New York Times said Daniel O'Neill, chief executive of Molson, told the company's AGM yesterday that it might seek a buyer for its stake in Kaiser unless its fortunes improve markedly by January.

Shares in Heineken initially fell, but rallied later as analysts dismissed the report. A London-based trader said that Molson has been increasing its spending in Brazil and has recently reiterated its commitment to the country.