Shares in the Japanese brewer Kirin reached a five-year high after Nikko Citigroup Inc. changed its recommendation on the brewer from "sell" to "buy".

The bank had issued the buy advice on the back of Kirin's rising sales of non-malt beer and its expansion into the pharmaceutical sector.

Kirin shares rose by 12% to Y1,257 and were trading at Y1,249 yen at 2pm on 20 September in Tokyo.

The rising volumes of non-malt beer have been the big news in the Japanese beer market for some time, providing the major brewers with substantial growth by dint of its lower tax rates.