* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.4 pct after touching seven-year high
* Greek banks fall sharply on debt repayment concerns
* Tullow down on project delay and FTSE demotion worries
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, March 2 (Reuters) - European shares retreated from multi-year highs on Monday, with Greek banks slipping on lingering concerns about the country’s debt and Tullow Oil falling on worries about project delays and its likely ejection from a major share index.
The Greek banking index fell 9.4 percent, while lenders National Bank of Greece, Piraeus Bank and Alpha Bank fell 8.9 to 11.4 percent to feature among the top decliners.
“The fears about a possible default for Greece are certainly not completely off the table,” Gerhard Schwarz, head of equity strategy at Baader Bank in Munich, said.
“The market is clearly overbought and we see a pull-back to digest the overheating we had over the last couple of weeks. We will probably just have a breather as the prerequisites of a sharper sell-off are not in place given that continued improvement in the economy and a very good liquidity situation.”
Greece called into question on Saturday a debt payment it must make to the European Central Bank this summer after acknowledging that it faces problems in meeting its obligations. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday Greece needs to give more details on the reforms it promised in return for the extension of its aid programme.
Tullow Oil slid 6 percent on concerns a boundary dispute between Ivory Coast and Ghana could delay a project off the coast of west Africa and the stock could be replaced on Britain’s FTSE 100 index by Hikma Pharmaceuticals this month, traders said.
“Investors are worried that a likely drop from the FTSE will prompt tracker funds and some exchange-traded funds to sell Tullow Oil shares to reduce their weightings,” Jawaid Afsar, trader at Securequity, said.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.4 percent at 1,557.07 points by 1502 GMT after rising to 1,567.68, the highest level since late 2007.
Shares in Vivendi fell 5.3 percent after the French media group agreed to sell its remaining stake in Numericable-SFR to Altice at a price traders viewed as low. Vivendi slipped despite announcing a share buy-back at a maximum purchase price of 20 euros a share.
Numericable rose 5.7 percent and Altice was up 5.5 percent.
Analysts said they were also disappointed by the small scale of the share buy-back Vivendi announced along with its fourth-quarter results on Friday. (Additional reporting by Francesco Canepa; Editing by Toby Chopra)