The investment bank, UBS Warburg, has downgraded its rating on the shares of the soft drinks bottler, Pepsi Bottling Group Inc. (PBG), from "buy" to "hold".

"We are concerned that tough volume comparisons will make it hard for PBG to grow volumes in 2003," said UBS analyst Caroline S. Levy. "We are now assuming volume growth of 0.5% in North America (down from 1%)."

UBS Warburg has also reduced its 2003 earnings estimate on Pepsi Bottling, the largest bottler of Pepsi brands in the world, from $1.73 to $1.70 per share.