Moody's lifts Anheuser-Busch InBev's long-term senior unsecured ratings outlook to positive from stable, saying company's cost cuts, liquidity may lead to a ratings upgrade in next 12-18 months

NEW YORK , September 28, 2011 () – Moody's Investors Service is lifting the outlook for Anheuser Busch InBev NV's long-term senior unsecured ratings, saying the company's cost cuts and strong liquidity may help it get a ratings upgrade in the next year to 18 months.

The ratings agency said Wednesday that it boosted the world's largest brewer's long-term senior unsecured ratings outlook to positive from stable. Moody's maintained its "Baa1," or investment grade, senior unsecured ratings and "Prime-2" commercial paper rating.

Aside from its strong liquidity and cost cutting measures, Moody's said the likelihood that Anheuser Busch InBev will continue to lower debt for the rest of the year and in 2012 is a contributing factor to the improved outlook.

Last month the maker of Budweiser, Stella Artois, Beck's and other beers reported that its second-quarter profit climbed 26 percent as higher sales in China made up for declining demand in the U.S. and Brazil.

Shares of Anheuser Busch InBev fell 8 cents to $53.94 in afternoon trading.

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