* SABMiller soars after accepting ABInBev takeover offer
* SAP rises as Q3 profits beat analyst expectations
* Portuguese banks lower, hit by political uncertainty
By Danilo Masoni
MILAN, Oct 13 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Tuesday following disappointing Chinese import data, dragged down by auto and bank stocks, though SABMiller soared after accepting a 68 billion-pound ($104 billion) takeover proposal from rival Anheuser-Busch.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 1.3 percent while the euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 dropped 1.4 percent.
China’s exports fell less than expected in September, but a sharper fall in imports left economists divided over whether the world’s second largest economy’s ailing trade sector is showing signs of turning around.
“While Chinese exports posted a healthy rebound, weak imports are still indicating that the Chinese economy is continuing to struggle,” said Peregrine & Black trader and analyst Markus Huber.
However, he said some investors viewed the data a catalyst for more Chinese government and central bank action in the coming months, adding the lower prices could tempt buyers back into the market.
Auto and bank sector stocks were the top sectoral fallers in early trading and investors were also waiting for the ZEW investor sentiment readings for October later on Tuesday.
SABMiller rose 8.5 percent and Anheuser-Busch was up 1.7 percent. SABMiller said it had indicated to AB InBev that its board would be prepared to accept the offer and said it had asked for a two-week extension to Oct. 28 of a deadline set for its rival to announce a firm intention to bid.
In the banking sector, Credit Suisse was down 2.6 percent and UBS fell 2.4 percent after a report said the Swiss finance ministry would tighten capital requirements.
Portuguese banks were sharply lower for a second day, dragged down by political uncertainty over the new government after last week’s inconclusive elections. Banco Comercial fell 8 percent and Banco BPI was down 4.2 percent.
SAP was 5.4 percent higher after Europe’s biggest software maker on Tuesday reported a 19 percent rise in third-quarter operating profit, beating the most optimistic analyst estimate.
But LVMH fell 4 percent after the luxury goods industry leader posted a mixed set of third-quarter revenue figures that revealed a strong rebound in cognac sales, particularly in China, but a slowdown at its key fashion and leather business. ($1 = 0.6551 pounds) (Reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Andrew Heavens)