European stocks rise sharply as banks and telecoms stocks climb
* FTSEurofirst 300 rises sharply for second day in row
* French telecoms rally as M&A talk heats up (Adds details, quote)
By Danilo Masoni
MILAN, Feb 15 (Reuters) - European shares rose sharply for the second consecutive session on Monday, boosted by a rebound in banking stocks and French telecoms shares due to signs of takeover activity in that sector.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which rose 3 percent on Friday, advanced by a further 3.1 percent on Monday. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index also stood 3.3 percent higher.
The FTSEurofirst remains down around 12 percent so far this year because of worries over a global economic slowdown and concerns surrounding the health of Europe's banking sector.
But, bank stocks rose on Monday as investors welcomed plans by the European Central Bank (ECB) to buy bundles of Italian bad bank loans as part of its asset-purchase programme.
"It's no surprise to see markets rebounding after excessive movements seen in the last few weeks," said Riccardo Ambrosetti, chairman of Italy's Ambrosetti Asset Management. "European equities have been particularly hit and we expect a faster recovery for battered financial stocks."
Italian bank Monte Paschi rose 9.9 percent, while shares in rivals Banco Popolare and Intesa Sanpaolo climbed 8.5 percent and 4.8 percent respectively. Continuación...