December 27, 2016 / 10:50 AM / a year ago

European shares steady in quiet trade, Parmalat soars

(Adds details, updates prices)

* Live markets: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets

* Pan-European index rises 0.1 percent in thin trading

* Parmalat surges after French owner launches buyout

* Bank stocks lag as Monte dei Paschi dampens mood

By Danilo Masoni

MILAN, Dec 27 (Reuters) - European shares steadied on Tuesday as trading in some markets resumed after a Christmas break, with Parmalat soaring after its French owner announced a buyout of the Italian dairy group.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.1 percent but activity remained thin as many investors were away with only a few days before the end of 2016.

While the UK market was closed for holiday, Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC were flat.

“Markets are calm, as thin holiday volumes are in play,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, analysts at London Capital Group.

Parmalat rose 9.5 percent, surging slightly above the 2.80 euros offer price lodged by France’s Lactalis to buy up shares in the group that it does not already own.

A Milan-based trader said some investors may be hoping for a possible sweetener of the bid from the French group which took control of Parmalat in 2011.

Most sectors traded in positive territory, with banks lagging after the European Central Bank (ECB) told Monte dei Paschi di Siena it needed to plug a capital shortfall of 8.8 billion euros, higher than a previous estimate of 5 billion euros.

Trading in Monte Paschi is suspended until conditions of a state bailout of Italy’s third largest lender become clear. Italy’s bank index fell 0.5 percent.

Deutsche Bank fell more than 1 percent. The stock shrugged off news that the ECB had lowered its minimum capital requirements, giving the lender more leeway to structure bonus payments and dividends.

Top STOXX gainer was Mediaset, which climbed 6.5 percent with traders speculating what French media group Vivendi could do next after building up a stake of just below the 30 percent threshold that would trigger a takeover bid. Vivendi fell 0.4 percent. (Reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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