RIO DE JANEIRO, July 11 Anheuser-Busch InBev SA
, the world's largest brewer, sees great growth
opportunities in Asia but prospects are lukewarm in Africa,
Chief Executive Carlos Brito said on Friday.
The maker of Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona has a
strong foothold in the fast-growing Asian market, while African
demand is concentrated in a handful of countries dominated by
local brewers, Brito, a Brazilian, said at an event in Rio.
"Our culture is focused on Latin America and Asia. Given the
growth opportunities, it's not worth opening another front," he
said. "Of 55 (African) countries, five or six make up 80 percent
of the market. There are Muslim countries as well, where we
can't sell anything."
Brito said AB InBev has businesses with great potential in
Vietnam, India, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia. The brewer has
40 plants employing 35,000 workers in China, where it is already
among the country's five largest, and the only major player
without a government interest.
In Brazil, where AB InBev controls No. 1 brewer Ambev SA
, Brito said the market still has plenty of room to
grow, but the country needs more stable rules to encourage
investments. The government announced a tax hike on beverages in
April before suspending the measure for three months on
(Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier; Writing by Brad Haynes;
Editing by Dan Grebler)