* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.2 pct after previous day’s rebound
* Altice surges 7.7 pct on Suddenlink bid, Vodafone also gains
* UBS gets lift after forex probe settlement, fine
* Burberry shares slide on guidance cut
By Lionel Laurent
LONDON, May 20 (Reuters) - European shares edged up slightly on Wednesday after rebounding strongly in the previous session, with the telecoms sector getting a big lift from deal-making and takeover talk.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.2 percent at 1049 GMT at 1,608.84 points, holding on to Tuesday’s gains driven by speculation the European Central Bank’s bond-buying plan could be rolled out more aggressively than expected.
“European equities are trading little changed this morning ... It wouldn’t come as too much of a surprise if stocks take a bit of a breather,” said Markus Huber, senior sales trader at Peregrine & Black.
French telecoms group Altice surged 7.7 percent after agreeing to buy Suddenlink in a $9.1 billion deal to enter the fast-growing U.S. cable sector. Altice’s French rivals Orange and Bouygues fell about 1.5 percent.
“We believe there is room for Altice to run assets in new markets better and thereby create value through M&A,” Credit Suisse said in a note.
Vodafone was up 4.4 percent after Liberty Global’s chairman was quoted as saying it would be a “great fit”.
Merger talk also lifted German retailer Metro up 1 percent, after a source familiar with the matter told Reuters the owner of German department store chain Karstadt had made a new takeover offer for Metro-owned Kaufhof.
Financials were also in focus, with Switzerland’s UBS up 3 percent after saying it had settled a probe by U.S. authorities over alleged rigging of currency markets by agreeing to pay $545 million in combined fines and pleading guilty to one count of wire fraud in a separate matter.
The Swiss bank’s disclosure comes as part of what is expected to be a combined bill of more than $5 billion and criminal charges for five of the world’s biggest banks in a settlement with U.S. and British authorities over the foreign exchange probe.
On the downside, Luxury-goods group Burberry sank more than 5 percent after it lowered its 2016 retail and wholesale profit guidance due to foreign exchange movements and said it was seeing increased uncertainty in some markets, taking the shine off forecast-beating results.
Greek shares stayed choppy in cautious trading and were last up 0.9 percent after opening lower. EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said debt talks between Greece and its lenders must be accelerated to reach a deal in the coming weeks, while Moody’s said that the outlook for Greece’s banking system was negative.
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 Atul Prakash; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky