Heineken has had coverage of its shares raised. Morgan Stanley today (7 December) upgraded its rating on the Dutch brewer to 'equalweight' from 'underweight', noting that the factors that had weighed on profits over the last four years were receding.

In a report to clients, the broker noted that Heineken shares have lost their premium relative to its European peers. Morgan Stanley added that it did not expect the shares to fall further.

The broker also said it believed a stronger US dollar and a concurrent recovery in the US import sector should become a source of earnings growth from 2007, while cost-savings should boost net profit from 2006, amid potential opportunities for further restructuring within the group.