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Banco do Brasil CEO rules out IPO of credit card unit -newspaper

SAO PAULO, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Brazilian lender Banco do Brasil SA will not make an initial public offering (IPO) of its credit card unit, according to an interview with its chief executive published by newspaper Folha de S.Paulo on Monday.

The state-controlled bank is "not counting on" fresh capital from the Brazilian government or sales of core assets, Paulo Cafferelli said in the interview a week after announcing aggressive downsizing plans.

The bank may instead sell its minority stakes in power distributor Neoenergia SA and grain storage systems producer Kepler Weber Industrial SA, Cafferelli said.

Banco do Brasil currently owns 11.99 percent of Neoenergia and 17.45 percent of Kepler Weber.

The bank announced last week it would shed as many as 18,000 jobs and shut hundreds of branches to save up to 3.1 billion reais ($907 million) in coming years.

"If nothing had been done, we would have had to knock on the government's door to request a capital injection in July 2017," Caffarelli said in a transcript of the interview published by Folha.

Press representatives for the bank did not immediately respond to questions about the interview.

Banco do Brasil shares rose 6 percent last week on the prospect of cutting payroll, which in some areas is three times the size of private-sector peers.

About 6,700 employees have already joined the bank's early retirement scheme in the past week, Caffarelli told Folha. He said he expects that figure to rise to between 9,000 and 10,000 by the Dec. 9 deadline.

That would imply savings of 2.130 billion to 2.232 billion reais, he said. Should 15,000 employees join the early retirement plan, savings would be 2.742 billion reais, he added.

Caffarelli ruled out offering a broader voluntary buyout plan to more employees, saying he expects to reduce payroll enough through the early retirment scheme and regular turnover.

($1 = 3.42 reais) (Writing by Bruno Federowski, editing by Louise Heavens)