* Monthly credit-card rate cut to 9.8 pct from 12-16 pct now
* Renner shares down on weaker performance from finance unit
* Central bank has slashed rates, gov't pressuring lenders
SAO PAULO, Sept 28 Brazil apparel retailer Lojas
Renner will cut interest rates it charges credit card
customers beginning in November, as fiercer competition and
government pressure have squeezed the lucrative consumer finance
Renner will cut monthly rates on financial products to 9.8
percent from between 12 and 16 percent now, a spokeswoman said
Shares of Renner fell 1.6 percent and have lost about 6
percent this week as investors braced for weaker performance
from the retailer's consumer finance division.
Renner, like others in the industry, created its consumer
credit services to encourage sales. Profits from that business
have grown more important to the company, BTG Pactual Group
analysts led by Fabio Monteiro wrote in a note to clients.
Brazil's biggest private sector banks, Itaú Unibanco Holding
and Banco Bradesco, have announced sharp
reductions in credit-card rates and more-aggressive payment
terms in recent weeks.
Itaú also took control of card payment processor Redecard
this week in a move that may hasten change in the
relationship between banks and card users.
The government has also pushed for cheaper consumer credit,
condemning high interest rates for personal loans and credit
cards at a time when central bank policy has dropped borrowing
costs to record lows.