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Shares in Brazil's Sabesp soar on Maia privatization remarks

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SAO PAULO, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Shares in Brazilian water utility Sabesp soared as much as 15% on Friday after a São Paulo state official suggested he was prioritizing plans to privatize the company.

Sao Paulo Governor João Doria recently appointed former house speaker Rodrigo Maia to a role in his cabinet with a mandate to accelerate the state's privatization program.

"I think it's a symbolic thing to organize the (Sabesp) privatization, the licensing, to get things going by the end of my term," said Maia, at his first press briefing in the role.

He said Sabesp was the only topic he had discussed with Vice-Governor Rodrigo Garcia at a Friday meeting.

"I think it will be an important mark of my management," Maia told reporters.

Sabesp shares settled in midday trading to an 11% gain. (Reporting by Eduardo Simões and Paula Laier Writing by Ana Mano; editing by Diane Craft)

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