The investment bank Morgan Stanley has reworked its ratings on two of Europe's largest brewers.

Its analysts said today that Dutch brewer Heineken had been re-rated to "overweight" from "equal-weight" while the UK brewer Scottish & Newcastle had been downgraded to "underweight" from "equal-weight".

"We expect 2003 to be more challenging for drinks companies. While we expect good organic growth despite a tough consumer environment, reported results will be held back by currency, pensions and various one-off factors," Morgan Stanley analyst Alex Oldroyd said.

The bank said its top picks in the sector Diageo, rated at "overweight", and Heineken.

Meanwhile its least-preferred stocks are Carlsberg, Remy Cointreau and Scottish & Newcastle, all rated at "underweight".