Rémy Cointreau has been upgraded to 'hold' from 'sell' by SG Securities as part of the broker's review of the spirits sector.

In a note to investors, SG said that Rémy's announcment last week that it is to exit  Maxxium Worldwide alters its profile and increases the likelihood of a disposal. SG added that, although Rémy's share could suffer from the announced cost of the exit, speculative interest would be likely to provide a floor.

The broker also said that consolidation in the spirits industry could pick up again in 2007, with Pernod Ricard, which has been given a 'buy' recommendation, possibly taking part. The investment group said speculation around the privatisation of Absolut could lead to a fall in Pernod's share price, but that results momentum should be sound at the start of 2007.