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REGULATION/LEGISLATION

Brazil now sees lower house majority for key pension reform

Brazil's government says it now sees enough votes to pass its flagship pension overhaul in the lower house after making concessions to gain lawmaker support.

The lower house floor is expected to pass the constitutional amendment with 350 votes, more than the 308 required, the chairman of the Chamber of Deputies' special pension committee, Carlos Marun, told reporters in Brasilia on Tuesday. Leaders of the ruling coalition in the lower house will recommend that their party members support the pension reform, said Deputy Arthur Maia, the rapporteur of the bill.

The real, which had been under pressure due to uncertainty over support for the legislation, pared losses after the comments, trading at 3.1474 per dollar at 1:05 p.m. local time.

The turnaround comes days after Estado de S. Paulo newspaper published a poll showing fewer than 100 deputies in favor of the measure that seeks to curtail pension outlays. President Michel Temer's administration subsequently backtracked on parts of the proposal, including transition rules and pensions for teachers and police officers.

Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said these changes could reduce the projected savings of the bill by between 15% and 20%.