BRASILIA (Reuters) - Carrefour SA <CARR.PA> shareholders could appoint a new chief executive this year and have identified Best Buy Co Inc <BBY.N> CEO Hubert Joly as one of their favorites for the post, Brazilian newspaper Valor Economico reported on Friday.

Joly, however, said in a statement that he is "fully committed" to Best Buy and has "absolutely no plans" to leave.

Carrefour's new CEO could be announced in the first half of the year, before two expected IPOs of Carrefour units in Brazil and France, Valor reported, citing an unidentified source briefed on the discussions.

Current Carrefour CEO Georges Plassat's term is scheduled to end in May 2018.

Carrefour has been searching for a replacement, a source told Reuters in December. Executive search firm Egon Zehnder was mandated to select potential candidates.

Carrefour, the world's second largest retailer, declined to comment.

The retailer has been pursuing a recovery strategy focusing on price and cost cuts along with expansion into smaller convenience stores, while also renovating its chain of hypermarkets.

Sales growth slowed in the fourth quarter, reflecting a weaker performance in its core French market.

(Reporting by Silvio Cascione; editing by Jason Neely and David Gregorio)