MEXICO CITY: Beer brands feature strongly in the upper reaches of a ranking of the most valuable brands in Latin America with Skol topping the list.

The latest BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable Latin American Brands, from WPP and Millward Brown, shows the beer sector claiming five of the top ten positions and contributing 29% of total brand value of the Top 50.

Skol, a Brazilian brand owned by AB InBev, edged out Corona, a Mexican brand also owned by AB InBev, for the number one spot. Its brand value rose 20% to £8,500m, while Corona's increased just 6% to $8,476m.

AB InBev also claimed eighth and tenth places with Brazilian brand Brahma (up 17% to $4,185m) and Mexican brand Modelo (up 4% to $3,604m). Sandwiched between these two was Colombian brand Aguila (up 3% to $3,672m).

Mexican comms providers took third and sixth places: the value of Telcel grew 16% to $6,174m, while that of Televisa advanced 22% to $4,423m.

Financial institutions featured in fourth and seventh positions, Brazil's Bradesco being the strongest (up 25% to $5,202m), ahead of Brazil's Itaú (up 28% to £4,315m).

Chilean retailer Falabella in fifth spot (down 23% to $4,709m) rounded out the top ten.

The experience of the brewing giants was instructive. Premium international brands – such as Budweiser, Heineken and Stella Artois – were making an impression but the most value and scale was seen by local brands in the middle class and low-end consumer groups.

Multinational ownership via companies such as AB InBev and SAB Miller has enabled brands to combine very precise segmentation and targeting, said Millward Brown, while the value of local traditions and a place in the local culture also proved strong.

"What we are seeing in this year's BrandZ listing is the power of a strong brand proposition that delivers meaningful difference to consumers," said Gonzalo Fuentes, CEO LatAm for Millward Brown.

"Given the economic circumstances in many markets that means creating strong emotional connections that resonate with the growing middle class as well as low income families," he added. "Such an approach is essential if companies want to grow great brands."

Data sourced from Millward Brown; additional content by Warc staff