European shares steady; UBS sinks after warning on Swiss franc

martes 10 de febrero de 2015 08:17 GYT

* 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.   Continuación...