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Brazil: Stocks hit record ahead of final pension bill vote

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Brazilian stocks hit a record high on Tuesday ahead of the expected approval in the Senate of President Jair Bolsonaro's ambitious pension reform bill seen as crucial to unleashing other much-needed reforms.

[SAO PAULO] Brazilian stocks hit a record high on Tuesday ahead of the expected approval in the Senate of President Jair Bolsonaro's ambitious pension reform bill seen as crucial to unleashing other much-needed reforms.

After some tweaks by Congress, Mr Bolsonaro's signatory economic policy is expected to save more than 800 billion reais (S$267.1 billion) over 10 years - less than the 1.2 trillion reais originally projected.

Brazil's benchmark Bovespa index finished at 107,381.1, up 1.28 per cent on the previous day, which was also a record close.

Among other things, the measure will introduce a minimum retirement age and increase contributions over a longer period of time.

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The overhaul requires three-fifths of Congress to support a constitutional amendment.

The pension bill was passed with overwhelming support in the lower house earlier this year and is almost certain to be approved in a second vote by the Senate later Tuesday.

Bolsonaro has warned that Brazil's generous pension system would bankrupt the country if the changes were not adopted.

The proposal initially faced stiff resistance from trade unions and a hostile Congress.

But there has been a growing consensus that pension reform is necessary, particularly as the population ages and the economy struggles to grow.

AFP