* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.8 pct, hits new 7-year high
* InBev leads food and beverages stocks higher
* Royal Bank of Scotland fall after reporting losses
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Major European share indexes climbed to new multi-year highs on Thursday, with the world’s largest brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev leading the food and beverages sector higher after announcing a sharply higher dividend and a share buyback plan.
Belgium-based InBev rose 3.2 percent after proposing a total dividend of 3.00 euros for 2014, a jump from 2.05 euros for 2013, and detailing a $1-billion share buyback plan. The STOXX Europe 600 Food and Beverages index rose 1.6 percent.
The broader stock market also got some boost from a rally in mining shares. The European basic resources index gained 1.1 percent as copper hit a six-week high after Chinese trading resumed following a break. Zinc and aluminium both rose about 1 percent.
“Industrial metals prices have probably seen the bottom. They have been in a phase of stabilisation over the last few weeks. We assume that the downside pressure on basic resources shares has come to an end for now,” Christian Stocker, equity strategist at UniCredit in Munich, said.
“We like miners from a tactical point of view as margins are recovering swiftly and valuations look relatively attractive.”
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.8 percent at 1,553.60 points by 1458 GMT, its highest for more than seven years, while Germany’s DAX rose 0.6 percent to a fresh all-time peak. The broader STOXX 600 was up 0.8 percent after hitting its highest level since 2007.
“I am bullish on European equities in the long run, but there is a risk of a sell-off in the near term as most of the indexes have become overbought. Equities could fall 5 to 7 percent in the next couple of months,” Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets in Brussels, said.
According to Thomson Reuters charts, the FTSEurofirst 300’s 14-day relative strength index (RSI) rose to a 10-year peak of 78. A level above 70 for an index is seen technically overbought and often triggers profit taking.
Among sharp movers, Bureau Veritas rose 7 percent after posting a rise in net profit and maintaining its dividend.
On the downside, Royal Bank of Scotland slid 6.9 percent after recording a 2014 loss of 3.5 billion pounds and announcing plans to shrink its investment banking operations.
Greek banks also fell on fears that the country will not be able to make debt repayments to the IMF and the European Central Bank this year. National Bank of Greece, Alpha Bank , Bank of Piraeus and Eurobank were down between 2.0 and 4.4 percent. (Additional reporting by Blaise Robinson in Paris; Editing by Toby Chopra)