Commercial news round-up: interest rate rise, wine, EasyJet, Facebook, HSBC
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The big news today, gripping the City and beyond, is the Bank of England announcement that it is raising interest rates from 0.25% to 0.5% - the first rise since 2007, it reverses the emergency rate cuts that were implemented following the EU referendum. Follow the excitement at the Guardian’s live business blog. For other business stories of note, read on:
- Freak weather conditions in 2017 have threatened wine production in Europe, with the International Organisation of Vine and Wine reporting an expected 8% decrease in global wine production to 247m hectolitres (1 hectolitre is equivalent to 133 bottles).
- EasyJet is set to fly to the rescue of insolvent German airline, Air Berlin, agreeing to a €40 million deal that will see EasyJet buy some of the failed company’s assets, including landing slots at Berlin airport.
- Facebook has defied financial predictions by posting quarterly profits that are up 47% compared to the same quarter in 2016. With revenue of $10.33 billion, the company has warned that efforts to clamp down on foreign interference in elections could damage future profits.
- HSBC is in serious hot water as it was revealed that the bank ignored serious warnings about money laundering in South Africa. It may now face investigation for "possible criminal complicity" in connection with this and other corruption allegations