For the second time in just four months South African Breweries#; JSE share price closed higher on the back of unconfirmed supposition about mergers with other major brewers.

Following the weekend#;s speculation about a possible deal between SAB and Millers from the USA, SAB#;s share price rose by R2.20 to close at R83.20, when nearly a million shares changed hands on the Johannesburg bourse yesterday.

SAB has been involve in a number of buy-outs and international deals since its entry into the London Stock Exchange in 1999, but almost as many rumoured mergers which have come to nought.

In November last year a debacle started when rumours abounded about an Interbrew bid - this saw SAB#;s shares at one stage being driven up to R86 from its R68 level.

James Williamson of SG Securities said the immediate short-term benefits for the SAB shareholder would be a decrease in the group#;s risk profile. Currently over 50% of SABs EBIT is sourced from South Africa, with the rest generated in Eastern Europe, the rest of Africa and going forward from Central America, while China contributes in a small way.

“In the long-term, the Miller brand is tired and needs revitalising if it wants to take on Anheuser Busch in an meaningful way. I don#;t believe SAB can take anything significant to the party and there are just not enough synergies between them, even though SAB brew a small amount of Miller under licence in Russia,” Williamson said.