European shares rise to seven-year high on Greek deal prospects
* Ct. Agricole rallies after profits beat forecasts
* FTSEurofirst 300 rises to set new seven-year high
* Athens to submit loan request, buying more time
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Bets that Greece would reach an agreement with its international lenders drove a pan-European stock index to a seven-year high on Wednesday, despite German resistance to the deal Greece wants.
Greece will submit a request to the euro zone on Thursday to extend a "loan agreement" for up to six months. EU paymaster Germany says Athens must stick to the terms of its existing bailout.
Greek shares climbed 1 percent, while Greek banking stocks also rose sharply.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.7 percent to 1,514.62 points going into the close of the trading session, marking its highest level since early 2008.
The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index rose 0.6 percent, while Germany's DAX progressed 0.4 percent to put it near the DAX's earlier record highs. Continuación...