Davos 2014: Irish delegates include Taoiseach Enda Kenny, businessman Denis O'Brien and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
Bono will also address delegates
BUSINESSMAN Denis O'Brien, who has been attending Davos for more than a decade, said today that he expects stocks will rise this year while interest rates will remain low. "I'm comfortable that the equity markets will continue to be better over time with increasing value and dividends," the 55-year-old telecoms billionaire told Bloomberg. Mr O'Brien is one of a handful of Irish citizens attending the global think-fest in the small Alpine town of Davos. Taoiseach Enda Kenny will speak tomorrow and hold discussions with several US business leaders including Facebook chief operations officer Sheryl Sandberg. Others attending from Ireland include Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and singer Bono. Mr O'Brien, who is the biggest shareholder in the parent of this website, said if he had $100m to invest, he would bet $40m on Vodafone, $20m in Bharti Airtel, $20min SoftBank, and $20m in Bangkok-based Advanced Info Service. "I am positive about 2014, but it will not be like 2013 in terms of S&P 500 index gains," he said. "The stock market will be up due to better global earnings and consumers doing better. Consumers are recovering their appetite for goods, as they are only now emerging from their version of the debt crisis." Mr O'Brien said the biggest hurdle facing the global economy are politicians. "They are more and more worried about their re-election than growing their economies," he said. "Also, certain European Banks still have issues particularly in the Benelux region, Spain, Italy, France and Germany. It will take many more years to sort them out."