European shares steady, pegged back by Vodafone
* FTSEurofirst 300 flat
* Vodafone falls after results
* Credit Suisse up after tax settlement
By Tricia Wright
LONDON, May 20 (Reuters) - European shares traded flat on Tuesday, held back by Vodafone, after the world's second-largest mobile network operator reported huge impairment costs.
Vodafone shed 4.1 percent, making it the biggest faller on the FTSEurofirst 300, after it recorded 6.6 billion pounds ($11 billion) in impairments due to fierce competition and regulatory changes in Europe.
"The writedowns across several European regions are further proof of the challenges the company is facing, with underlying profit continuing to move in the wrong direction," said Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers.
At 1104 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index, which last week hit a six-year high of 1,372.81, was flat at 1,358.58 points.
Equity markets have been buoyed in recent weeks by a burst of dealmaking and bids, particularly in the healthcare sector, although lofty valuations are preventing some investors from putting more money to work in equities. Continuación...