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Breakingviews

Reuters Breakingviews is the world's leading source of agenda-setting financial insight. As the Reuters brand for financial commentary, we dissect the big business and economic stories as they break around the world every day. A global team of about 30 correspondents in New York, London, Hong Kong and other major cities provides expert analysis in real time. Sign up for a free trial of our full service at http://www.breakingviews.com/trial and follow us on Twitter @Breakingviews and at www.breakingviews.com. All opinions expressed are those of the authors.

Breakingviews - Thailand's vote may solve just one problem

Thailand's long-awaited vote may solve just one problem: the poll itself. Sunday's ballot ends five years of direct military rule. For investors, the best outcome is an uncontested one, even if the junta leader stays on as prime minister. A democracy of sorts could well encourage some inward capital flows, and planned infrastructure spending will help growth. Unfortunately, none of the likely winners appear ready to tackle the deeper woes of this sclerotic eco

Breakingviews - BMW-Daimler: a more logical German M&A champion

Berlin is pushing for the wrong German M&A champion. Officials including Finance Minister Olaf Scholz want to help embattled Deutsche Bank by merging it with Commerzbank. In reality, the combined 26 billion euro lender would probably be just as dysfunctional and still struggle to earn its cost of capital. Encouraging a 102 billion euro auto giant via a union between BMW and Daimler makes more sense.

Breakingviews - Legal woes poison Bayer’s prospects

Roundup’s noxious effect is leaching deeper into Bayer. Shares in the German chemicals group slumped again on Wednesday after a second U.S. court said its widely used weed killer causes cancer. Bayer has shed $34 billion of market capitalisation since the first adverse ruling last August, effectively exterminating any value in its CropScience unit, which includes Roundup. With thousands of claims in the wings, even that may be too generous.

Breakingviews - Citic and CLSA will survive boss departure

CLSA will survive the departure of its bosses. Jonathan Slone is quitting, shortly after its chairman left. The moves have led to whispers of a culture clash with China’s Citic Securities, which bought the Hong Kong brokerage for $1.3 billion in 2013. Bank mergers are always challenging. Still, it’s too early to write this one off.

Breakingviews - Cox: Really, no one else will bid for Commerzbank?

Berlin has blessed the potential union of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank to create a German national champion in financial services. Conventional wisdom holds that the official sanction from the Bundesregierung makes a marriage between the two challenged institutions a done deal. But it’s precisely this sort of statist logic that keeps Europe from developing more globally competitive businesses.

Breakingviews - The Exchange: The water-crisis marathoner

Investors and companies are ill prepared for the rising scarcity of this most important natural resource. With World Water Day on March 22, Thirst CEO Mina Guli lays out the issues and explains why she decided to run 100 marathons in 100 days to draw attention to the problem.

Breakingviews - Rugby’s dilemma: take the penalty or go for a try

Rugby Union teams awarded a penalty near the opponent’s goal line face a dilemma. Should they kick a penalty between the H-shaped posts and earn an easy three points, or attempt to ground the ball beyond the posts for a so-called try, earning seven? That’s one way to think about the choice between a 500 million pound private equity bid from CVC for the Six Nations Championship, and a more ambitious 5 billion pound plan by governing body World Rugby for a wider gl

Breakingviews - Dianrong boss daringly says what many are thinking

Dianrong’s boss has daringly said what many are probably thinking. Guo Yuhang, co-founder and co-chairman of one of China’s biggest peer-to-peer lenders, blamed the government for his company’s sluggishness. Such regulatory grievances are common from bankers elsewhere, but rare in China. The complaints will strike a chord in the industry even if they don’t alter the course of mercurial rules.

Breakingviews - German bank champion will be made on Wall Street

Overexcited, overpaid and over here. The comic line once aimed at American soldiers in Europe also summarises the involvement of U.S. banks in the possible merger of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank. If the deal happens, it could owe much to Wall Street nous.

Breakingviews - Airbus can only nibble at Boeing’s 737 lunch

Boeing’s losses are not Airbus’ gains. The $215 billion U.S. aerospace giant may have suspended deliveries of its ill-fated 737 MAX 8 jet after two crashes in five months, and that theoretically should benefit its European peer. Unfortunately for 91 billion euro Airbus, chock-full production lines and order books stretching for years mean it can’t take up much slack.