Business briefs: Bankof England raises interest rate

The Bank of England raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 5.75 percent on Thursday, the fifth increase in less than a year. The widely expected move confirmed Britain’s place at the top of the interest rate table of the world’s wealthiest nations. The European Central Bank, led by Jean-Claude Trichet, held its own main rate unchanged at 4 percent.

COCA-COLA AND SNAPPLE

The Coca-Cola Co. (KO) is exploring whether to buy Cadbury Schweppes PLC’s (CSG) Snapple iced tea brand or build its own tea brand. Britain-based Cadbury-Schweppes plans to split its confectionary and soft drinks businesses. Coca-Cola, the world’s largest beverage maker, has been working to expand its noncarbonated beverage portfolio.

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