The broker has been reducing its exposure to consumer stocks and views Diageo as one of the most expensive.
The wine and spirits company's shares fell 16p to 760p after removal from the European 1 Focus list.
Diageo bought 4.38m ordinary shares through Merrill Lynch International for cancellation at an average price of 748p each.
Financial Times 19/10/02 page 23 (Companies Report)
The Times 19/10/02 page 57 (Stock Markets)
The Daily Telegraph 19/10/02 page 32 (The Market)