India. Liquor Shares Turn Weak as Top Court Upholds Kerala’s Prohibition Policy

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Shares of liquor companies such as United Spirits, United Breweries, Tilaknagar Industries, Jagatjit Industries, Empee Distilleries and Pincon Spirit fell 0.5-2.5 per cent, after the Supreme Court upheld Kerala’s policy to go “dry” in 10 years.

The Oommen Chandy-led Congress regime had last year introduced a policy to make the state “alcohol-free” within 10 years. Only 5-star hotels were to be granted bar licences.

The decision was challenged by bar owners in the Kerala High Court, which refused to stay the state government’s decision, following which they had approached the Supreme Court.

In August 2014, the state government announced that alcohol would be served only in five-star hotels and ordered hundreds of bars to close down.

In March this year, the decision was given a thumbs up by the High Court, which said that the no-liquor policy was in line with the Constitution.

A resident of Kerala typically drinks about 8.3 liters of alcohol per year, more than double the national average. Rum, whiskey and brandy are the state’s favourite tipples.

Liquor shares were underperforming the Nifty which was trading on a flat note with a positive bias.