Sunday, January 18, 2015


Monday, Jan 19, 2015

SINGAPORE - Mr Goh Cheng Liang, the founder of Nippon Paint South-East Asia Group (Nipsea), is now the richest man in Singapore, Bloomberg reported.

Mr Goh's net worth of US$8.2 billion (S$10.8 billion) fortune far surpasses the previous number one, Mr Wee Cho Yaw, who is the largest shareholder of United Overseas Bank. Mr Wee was listed as the richest Singaporean on Forbes 2014 list with a US$6.9 billion fortune.

Coming in third on the Bloomberg report is Madam Tan Kim Choo, the widow of late property tycoon Ng Teng Fong, with a US$4.9 billion fortune. According to a Forbes report, her sons, property baron brothers Philip and Robert Ng, are estimated to have a combined net worth of US$11.5 billion.

The 87-year-old Mr Goh, who holds a 39 per cent stake in Nipsea, is the largest shareholder in the company. He is co-owners with Osaka-based Nippon Paint Holdings. Bloomberg reported that his stake in the joint venture is kept at this private investment company, Wuthelam Holdings.

With his multi-billion net worth, it is hard to believe that Mr Goh was born into a poor family and took to selling fishing nets and working at a hardware store as a boy.

Singapore's richest man is now paint tycoon Goh Cheng Liang

According to Investvine, Mr Goh traded a song for a stockpile of barrels of rotting paint that the British had auctioned off during Wold War II in 1949. He then mixed the concoction of chemicals that would later become his first brand of paint, Pigeon.

After founding Nippon Paint in Singapore in 1955, business picked up and he eventually managed to set up the firm's first paint manufacturing plant a decade later. The Nippon brand now sells in 16 countries worldwide, with an annual turnover at US$2.6 billion.

According to The Straits Times, Mr Goh had also built up the Wuthelam group by investing in Liang Court shopping complex, hotels, electronics, logistics, manufacturing and trading.

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