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UPDATE 1-Brazil pension reform awaits ratification after clearing Senate

Maria Carolina Marcello and Jamie McGeever

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BRASILIA, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Brazil's Senate on Wednesday gave its final seal of approval to a sweeping overhaul of the country's pension system, bringing to a close months of political wrangling over the government's keystone policy to stabilize public finances and boost growth.

The final amendment to give workers employed in hazardous jobs greater protections will not alter the total projected savings of 800 billion reais ($197 billion) over the next decade, Work and Pensions Secretary Rogerio Marinho said.

The landmark bill awaits ratification by President Jair Bolsonaro. Senate President Davi Alcolumbre said the signing would likely be on Nov. 19, when Bolsonaro is back from a series of official visits to Asia.

Financial markets cheered the news, even though it was effectively a formality after the main text of the bill was overwhelmingly approved on Tuesday.

Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index rose to a fresh record high just shy of 108,000 points, the real rose to around 4.0460 per dollar, its strongest in six weeks.

Roberto Secemski, Brazil economist at Barclays, said that although the "saga" had come to a "happy ending", pension reform would not turn the country's fiscal and economic fortunes around on its own.

While the bill's approval means Brazil will almost certainly avoid sliding back into recession, its deficit and debt dynamics do not look like improving meaningfully any time soon.

"The majority of the reform savings, which will come from a slower pace in expenditure growth rather than outright reduction in spending, is back-loaded," Secemski wrote in a client note.

"The market's focus will now likely shift toward economic growth. We will monitor the new fiscal measures expected to be announced by (Economy) Minister Paulo Guedes next week," he said. (Reporting by Maria Carolina Marcello Writing by Jamie McGeever Editing by Chris Reese and Tom Brown)