* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.1 pct, trades in tight range
* Raiffeisen jumps after saying will cut exposure to Russia
* Greek bank shares rebound before eurozone meeting
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, Feb 10 (Reuters) - European stocks were steady around midday on Tuesday, with UBS falling after it warned against the effects of the surging Swiss franc and negative interest rates in Switzerland and the eurozone.
Shares in Switzerland’s biggest bank sank 5.2 percent -- the biggest loss among European blue-chips -- after it said last month’s move by the central bank to abandon a cap on the value of the franc would hurt profits.
Switzerland’s benchmark index SMI has fallen 4.4 percent so far in 2015. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares, by contrast, has gained 8.2 percent over the same period.
On Tuesday, Raiffeisen Bank International climbed 6.7 percent after the Austrian lender said it would reduce its exposure to Russia and sell operations in Poland and Slovenia.
The stock had lost as much as 72 percent in the past 12 months, hurt by worries over its exposure to Russia. The Russian economy has suffered from falling oil prices and from western sanctions over its support of eastern Ukrainian separatists.
Security camera maker Axis AB surged 48 percent after Japan’s Canon said it plans to buy the Swedish company for about 23.6 billion Swedish crowns ($2.83 billion) to expand into surveillance products.
French tyre maker Michelin fell 4.6 percent after posting earnings that missed forecasts, but so far Europe’s earning season has been positive. About a third of the STOXX 600 index companies have reported results, and 63 percent have met or beaten analyst forecasts.
”I‘m expecting to see forecast upgrades in Europe given the drop in the euro, the drop in commodity prices and the quantitative easing programme,“ said Bernard Aybran, head of multi-asset management at Invesco, in Paris. ”Profits in Europe are at such a low level that they can only go up from here.
“Dividends in Europe are also a big positive factor. The average yield in Europe for 2015 is 3.5 percent.”
At 1143 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.1 percent at 1,482.45 points.
Greek banking shares bounced after recent losses, with Bank of Piraeus up 7.1 percent and Eurobank up 6.6 percent.
Overall, Greek assets were recovering before an emergency meeting of euro zone finance ministers that some hope could be the first step to finding an agreement to ease the standoff between Greece and its lenders.
Europe bourses in 2015: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2015: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up
Additional reporting by Alexandre Boksenbaum-Granier; Editing by larry king