ING announced today that it was reducing its ratings on Japan's second-and third-largest brewers, Kirin Brewery Co Ltd and Sapporo Breweries Ltd , a move sparked by the anticipated escalation of the Japanese beer price war.
 
The bank's analyst, Yuki Allyson Honjo, reduced the rating on Kirin to "reduce" from "buy", setting fair value at Y825. She said the price war on low-malt "happoshu", an inexpensive beer substitute, will make it difficult for it to achieve its targets.

Honjo also cut the rating on Sapporo to "sell" from "reduce" and set fair value at Y280, while maintaining a "reduce" rating on Japan's largest brewer, Asahi Breweries Ltd.