UK-based drinks giant Diageo plans to expand its growth in Asian markets through listing its shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange, following sluggish sales in the Western European markets.

With shares already listed on London and New York stock exchanges, the company is now eyeing listings in developing countries, where it plans to generate half of its sales by 2015.

Diageo chief executive Paul Walsh told Reuters that a Hong Kong listing is something Diageo’s board is considering and will continue to look at and there have been some discussion documents produced.

In the second half of 2011, the company has reported overall sales growth of 8%, whereas in emerging markets its growth was 18%, a number which is set to further increase after Diageo’s acquisition of Turkey’s Mey ICki and a stake in China’s Sichuan Shuijingfang in 2011 and Brazil’s Ypioca cachaca brand in 2012.

The company is also on the verge of acquiring a minority stake in Jose Cuervo tequila, which will help it to take control from the Mexican Beckmann family.

Diageo currently distributes Cuervo in many markets outside Mexico in a deal which ends in June 2013.

Walsh said the firm is seeing fast growth in emerging markets and he would be disappointed if the group did not reach its target of 50% of sales in these markets earlier than its planned target of 2015 from around 40% at present, reported the website.

Under the expansion, the company recently announced an investment of £1bn for the Scotch whiskey production.

Diageo’s portfolio of brands include Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Baileys, Guinness, Captain Morgan, Bushmills, Seagram’s, José Cuervo, Gordon’s, Gilbey’s, Crown Royal and many more.

Image: Diageo is the major producer of spirits in the world with market capitalization of nearly £34.5bn as of 23 December 2011. Photo: FreeDigitalPhotos.net