Fears that the acquisition of Peroni may be overly expensive and a fall in the value of the Rand hit SABMiller shares on the London stock exchange today.

By 1030 GMT the stock was the biggest FTSE faller, down 3.7% at 426-1/2 pence.

SABMiller has always suffered from the fact that a large proportion of its earnings comes in Rand from its South African business, which it then reports in dollars.

Analysts said today that there were now added concerns that the company was over-paying for the Italian brewer Peroni, which SABMiller announced it was taking a controlling stake in yesterday. Critics suggest there are two few synergies between the companies to warrant the €246m price tag.

However, another analysts today called the fall in share price a "kneejerk" reaction.

SABMiller will be hoping to restore confidence when it reports its full year results Thursday next week.