A Year Ago: Net stock overpriced, says Bill Gates

First published: Mon, 01 Feb 1999 16:04:49 GMT
Written by Chiyo Robertson, Contributor

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates joined the throng of Internet stock sceptics and warned about jumping into the "gold rush" in his speech at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

From the picturesque alpine village of Davos, Gates said he "did not recommend Internet stocks to people who don't like massive risk", but added that his company would "participate in this frenzy" by snapping up companies in this hot sector. His words echoed those of US Federal Reserve Chairman of Alan Greenspan who recently claimed that Internet stocks were over-priced.

Although Gates admitted that he found valuations of high tech companies "surprisingly high", he conceded that the Internet share price boom would benefit the US economy in the long run.

At the same gathering two years ago, Intel's former boss Andy Grove openly criticised European companies and governments for their sluggish uptake of technology. This time round Gates was more diplomatic claiming that although Europe lagged in some areas, such as education, the techno-lag betwen the US and Europe was closing.

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