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Malaysia. Guinness: Beer, stout price hike may drive up illegal consumption

Guinness Anchor Berhad (GAB) today expressed concern that a hike in excise duties for beer and stout may drive up demand for illicit alcohol.

"We are also concerned that the demand for illicit and unregulated alcohol products may increase," GAB managing director Hans Essaadi said in a statement.

He also said the hike would make their business harder amid an economy that is already bearing down on businesses and consumers,

"The state of the economy is having a significant impact on businesses and consumers and the latest increase in excise duty on beer and stout will make the environment more challenging to our industry," Essaadi said.

GAB, he said, will make price adjustments to its products in line with the new tax structure.

The Malay Mail today reported that excise duties for beer and stout were expected to go up by 10 percent. The current rate is 10 percent.

Malaysia has the third highest tax on alcohol worldwide behind Norway and Singapore.

9 Mar. 2016

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