CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as BCE-Bell Aliant deal lifts telecom shares

* TSX up 47.94 points, or 0.31 pct, at 15,363.07
    * Shares of Bell Aliant, Talisman lead the way higher

    By Leah Schnurr
    TORONTO, July 23 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose
on Wednesday, helped by gains in telecom shares after BCE Inc
 said it would take regional telecom Bell Aliant Inc
 private by buying the stake it does not already own in
the company.
    Oil and gas shares also rose after a report that Spanish oil
company Repsol SA is considering a takeover bid for
Talisman Energy Inc . 
    Shares of Bell Aliant and Talisman were the two biggest
contributors to the rise of the stock index, which continued to
touch record highs. Bell Aliant surged 10.6 percent to C$31.17.
Talisman was last up 7.3 percent at C$11.33 before the stock was
halted, pending news. 
    BCE, which said it would pay C$3.95 billion ($3.68 billion)
to take Bell Aliant private, rose 1 percent to C$49.52. The
telecom sector climbed 2 percent. 
    "The volumes are a little better this morning, but propelled
by a couple of stories. Without those stories, it's probably
pretty drab again," said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC
Capital Markets in Toronto 
     The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 47.94 points, or 0.31 percent, at 15,363.07. 
    The TSX was trading around its highs for the session, and
has set a series of record highs as it has pushed higher over
the past few weeks.
    "We've had a rotating correction. Financials stalled for a
long time and have taken over here in the last month as the
energy stocks, which had a pretty good run there, backed off," 
Hand said.
    "I would say on balance, that's why we're grinding slightly
higher. It's not as if it's straight up, but certain groups have
had weeks or months of real outperformance."
    ($1=$1.07 Canadian)

 (Editing by Peter Galloway)