UPDATE 3-Carrefour closer to Brazil listing with Diniz deal
* Abilio Diniz buys 10 pct stake in Carrefour Brazil
* Diniz pays about 1.8 bln reais ($663 million) for stake
* Carrefour raises cash for Brazil expansion
* Carrefour has yet to decide on Brazil IPO - CEO
* Carrefour shares close up 4 pct (Adds details from news conference, analyst, closing shares)
By Dominique Vidalon and Brad Haynes
PARIS/SAO PAULO, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Carrefour has sold a 10 percent stake in its Brazilian business to billionaire Abilio Diniz, a step towards a possible separate listing as the world's No.2 retailer looks to raise cash to accelerate growth in its second-largest market.
With its core French business on the mend, Carrefour boss Georges Plassat has said he wants to speed up expansion in fast-growing Brazil and China, and that a flotation in Brazil was one of its funding options.
However Plassat, who held a conference call together with Diniz, cautioned on Thursday that current market conditions were not favourable to an initial public offering (IPO). Continuación...