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Food & Beverage

Stiff ASEAN liquor laws stun beer brands from Chang to Carlsberg

Multinationals pivot to untested nonalcoholic beer as growth markets falter

Protesters spill beer in Bangkok in February in opposition to new rules on online liquor sales. (Photo courtesy of Craft Beer Association of Thailand)

BANGKOK/TOKYO -- As Southeast Asian countries tighten regulations on alcohol consumption to fight underage drinking and drunken driving, the threat of even tougher rules means multinational beverage groups face a cold new reality in what had been one of their few remaining growth markets.

Thai Beverage, Thailand's largest beer maker, postponed its brewery unit's initial public offering on the Singapore Exchange in April. BeerCo's debut, on ice indefinitely, would have raised $2 billion.

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