Friday, July 06, 2012

What Country is the World's Marijuana and Beer Capital?

Can you guess what country has the highest consumption per capita of cannabis and beer? I'll give you a hint; it's not the United States. It is actually the island country of Palau, located in the Micronesia area of the South Pacific. The country has a grand total of only about 21,000 people, but the percentage of marijuana and beer users is huge, according to The United Nations' 2012 World Drugs Report and the World Health Organization's Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health.

According to the WHO report, 24.2% of the population use cannabis, far above the amount for the second highest countries, Italy and New Zealand, at 14.6%. In regards to beer, Palau has the highest consumption of beer based on liters consumed annually per capita for ages 15 and older. Beer also appears to be the alcoholic beverage of choice for Palauans.
So can beer consumption in Palau help beer companies? It is doubtful that it can increase the bottom line by much, but it shouldn't hurt. In regards to the type of beer, Palau actually has its own brewery, Red Rooster. But its a private company.

However, if you look at the menus of restaurants and bars in Palau, you can see the other beers that are distributed throughout the country. Miller Light is sold there. It is marketed by MillerCoors, a a joint venture between SABMiller (SBMRF) and Molson Coors Brewing Company (TAP). Molson Coors pays a decent yield of 3.1% and trades at 11 times forward earnings. The company reports earnings on August 7.

Kirin is another beer that is distributed in Palau. The Kirin Holdings Company, Limited (KNBWY) which trades to a limited degree in the United States on the over-the-counter market. The stock has a price to earnings ratio of 148.

Budweiser and Bud Light, produced by Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (BUD), are also found in this island country. The stock has a 1.7% yield and trades at 15 times forward earnings.

Heineken (HINKY) is also popular. The stock has a forward P/E ratio of 9.
For a free list of all the beer stocks, which can be downloaded, sorted , and updated, go to
Disclosure: Author did not own any of the above at the time the article was written.

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