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Have you ever wondered who the world’s oldest billionaire is? Well, it is not 88-year old Warren Buffet, neither is it any of those popular European and American billionaires you may know too well. Instead, the title of the world’s oldest billionaire belongs to a 100-year old Singaporean man named Chang Yun Chung. He is said to be a shipping magnate who lives a private life and keeps away from the press.

So, who is he?

Born in 1918 and originally from China, Mr Chung left his native country for Singapore during his prime. It is not exactly clear what informed his decision to leave China, although assumptions can be made that it was for the purpose of greener pasture. After all, China was, by this time, a third world country which was strongly ruled by the Communist Party.

In Singapore, young Chung managed to build a successful career in the shipping industry, and later established himself as one of the world’s most prominent businessmen.

Note that prior to his emigration from China, Mr Chung studied and graduated from China’s Xiamen Datung College.

His long career in the shipping industry

Starting from 1949, Mr Chung worked for a Singaporean shipping company for nearly twenty years. During this period, he also served in the capacity of a director in a number of other Asian shipping companies, including Hong Kong’s Tranpac Shipping Enterprises Limited.


In the year 1967, Mr Chung decided to establish his own shipping company. He co-founded Pacific International Lines which is said to be the largest privately-owned shipping company in Singapore. The company has a fleet of 160 vessels as of March 2017 when the company marked its 50th anniversary.

According to Time Magazine, Mr Chung became the world’s oldest billionaire following the 2017 death of David Rockefeller who was the last surviving grandson of the American oil tycoon, John D Rockefeller.

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The secret to his success

Asides being famous for his wealth, Mr Chung is also known for shying away from the media. As expected, his private lifestyle has generated a lot of media interest around him. He did, however, grant rare television interviews every now and then. And during one of such interviews, he said the following:

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“I’m hard-working, I’m very honest with everyone. Whatever I promise, I always fulfill my promise. That is my principle.” – Chung

Now, this is one important life lesson every aspiring Nigerian billionaire should keep to heart.

How much is his net worth?

Forbes puts Mr Chung’s net worth at $1.9 billion. This is a valuation of all that he is worth as at today November 30th, 2018.


He is the fifteenth richest person in the whole of Singapore and is ranked 1,284th richest person in the world.

Mr Chung stepped down as the Chairman of Pacific International Lines in April of this year, handing over leadership to one of his sons who has since taken off from where his father stopped. It is expected that for as long as Mr Chung lives, he will keep making money from his stakes in the company.

Emmanuel holds an MSc. in International Relations and a B.A in Philosophy & Logic, both from the University of Ibadan. He is a communications professional. As a Lead Business Analyst at Nairametrics, he focuses mostly on quoted companies, their products/services, and the economy in which they operate. Emmanuel is also experienced in the areas of corporate communication, brand communication, corporate storytelling, public relations, business research, management/strategy, etc. You may contact him via his email- emmanuel.abara@nairametrics.com.



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