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Market forces fail working women in Asian hubs

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HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - For women striving for a seat at the top table, Asia is a depressing place. Hong Kong and Singapore lag Western peers in terms of number of females in the boardroom. Despite the known business benefits and an ample pool of talent, there has been glacial progress in promoting the gender. It is time for local authorities to ditch market forces and embrace quotas to fix the imbalance.

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Hadas: The next financial crisis could be in forex

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - For centuries, cross-border trade has come with a currency problem. The expansion of globalisation has not made it any less pressing. The dilemma identified by the economist Robert Triffin is a powerful – and alarmingly current – reminder that a worldwide foreign exchange crisis is only one big mood change away.

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Glencore food binge could leave investors hungry

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Glencore has fought hard for a lean balance sheet. Now it has one, it can keep things simple and give more money to shareholders, or binge on an acquisition. A merger approach to U.S. agricultural trader Bunge suggests Chief Executive Ivan Glasenberg favours the latter, somewhat riskier course of action. Such boldness could leave investors going hungry.

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Indian yogi shows power of local consumer kings

MUMBAI (Reuters Breakingviews) - An Indian yogi is demonstrating the power of local consumer champions. Baba Ramdev, a saffron-robed tycoon, says his company, Patanjali Ayurved, doubled sales last year to more than $1.6 billion, making it bigger than the local arms of Colgate and GlaxoSmithKline. His multinational rivals barely grew at all over the same period, as a shock move to scrap bank notes disrupted everyday life. Patanjali's powerful pull underscores a new trend of emerging market consum

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Suicide bombing brings tragic twist to UK election

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - A suicide bomber has brought a tragic twist to the British election. The attack that killed at least 22 concertgoers in the northern city of Manchester and left another 59 injured was the country’s deadliest for more than a decade. Even in a country familiar with acts of terror, this will shift the debate.

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HNA sees Value in connecting East and West

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - HNA Group has alighted on a logical, if pricey, target in Hong Kong. The deal-hungry Chinese travel conglomerate known for overpaying wants to invest in Value Partners, one of Asia’s few sizeable independent asset managers, says Bloomberg. If HNA wants to connect Chinese investors with the wider world, this could be useful.

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CEO ejection hardly gets Ford back in the race

SHANGHAI (Reuters Breakingviews) - Ford Motor’s many flubs under Mark Fields were becoming existential for the $43 billion carmaker’s founding family. Two weeks ago, a majority of those shareholders not named Ford voted to abolish the family's super-voting stock. The Fords took the hint, and the chief executive is now leaving. But naming a 62-year-old from the furniture trade to replace him hints at how unprepared the family was for a revolt.

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Wal-Mart’s online therapy may revive ailing retail

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Wal-Mart’s online therapy may help revive ailing retailers. The $242 billion giant is starting to reap the benefits of embracing e-commerce while shares in digital laggards like Macy’s and J.C. Penney plummeted after poor results. Unless they follow the behemoth’s lead, they’re likely to hand more market share to Wal-Mart and internet megastore Amazon.

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Spain is beginning to look more like Italy

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Spain’s rapid economic revival had it billed once as a rival to Germany. But after the leftist surge in Sunday’s socialist primaries, Madrid’s fragmented political landscape makes it look a bit like slower-growth peer Italy.

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Clarity missing from SoftBank's $100 bln Vision

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Can you have vision without clarity? When it comes to SoftBank boss Masayoshi Son, it seems the answer is yes. The Japanese maverick has unveiled the first close of his $100 billion technology fund, rustling up $93 billion in seven months: an unprecedented sum, raised in a very short space of time. If he can deploy that to find more gems like Alibaba , his most successful investment, this may turn into a bonanza for SoftBank investors. But for now he is keepin

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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.