Kweichow Moutai overtakes Diageo as world’s most valuable distiller

China’s Kweichow Moutai Co has overtaken Diageo to become the world’s most valuable distiller, according to Bloomberg 

The Baijiu-producer has seen its shares surge in the last two years, and on Friday saw its market value reach $71.5 billion. This tops the capitalisation of the Johnnie Walker producer, beating Diageo into second place at  $71.1bn, the Financial Times reported.

The Chinese spirit is primarily sold within China, with the domestic market accounting for around 95% of the spirit’s production. Such is China’s size that Brand Finance’s most recent Spirits 50 report showed baijiu accounting for around 37.5% of total global spirits values, versus around 28% for whisky, the FT said.

Baijiu is still the most popular alcoholic drink among Chinese consumers at New Year, according to research from e-commerce giant Alibaba, and Kweichow Moutai is the country’s biggest producer of high-end baijiu by market value. The partially state- owned partially publically traded company shifted eight tonnes worth of Moutai’s Year of the Rooster themed liquor on the first day of its release, according to a report by Wallstreet CN.

In February, the Chinese liquor company’s projected annual growth rate for 2017 is 22%.

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