With the range of FOREX brokers always on the rise, FOREX trading firms are continually striving to put their customers first, with the goal of protecting their revenues and profitability. Consumers, for their part, are concerned about the pitfalls of trading FOREX with the wrong broker. Because of this, they always need the right level of guidance required to steer clear of questionable brokerage firms. For this reason, we will be listing the best FOREX brokers in Kenya today. This list is the result of a detailed review process carried out by Arincen. We will share our review methodology so traders can understand why we chose the companies we did.
What Is FOREX and Why Do We Need a Broker to Trade?
Most established traders already know that the FOREX market is one the oldest and certainly the largest financial market in the world, where some six trillion dollars’ worth of trades change hands daily. The FOREX market operates 24 hours a day and five days a week (Monday through Friday), except international holidays. Brokerage firms play a key role in this regard by enabling clients to buy and sell through a trading platform. Most trading platforms are accessible in Web and mobile format.
How do I choose the best FOREX broker in Kenya?
Kenya is the third largest economy in Africa. It is a market-based economy with strong emphasis on energy, tourism and financial services. The country is generally known to be business-friendly and has taken steps to encourage local and foreign investment. In 2020, Kenya ranked 56th in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rating, an improvement from a placing of 61st out of 190 countries just two years earlier.
With government spending concentrated on infrastructure improvements in areas like telecommunications, transport and construction, it is a country on the rise. Through policy stability and good governance, Kenya has birthed a new generation of young investors boasting increasing levels of education and some money to spend. As such, many FOREX brokers with roots in Europe have decided to set up affiliates in the country. Today, there is a wide range of brokers from which Kenyan traders may choose.
FOREX Regulations in Kenya
The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) is the primary financial regulatory body in Kenya. The regulator opened its doors in 1989 and is responsible for supervising, licensing and monitoring the activities of firms in the financial sector. The CMA is an independent government regulatory body that provides guidance to the financial services sector according to asset allocation.
An interesting feature of FOREX trading in Kenya is that even though it is required by law that all Kenya FOREX brokers be registered by the CMA, this does not always happen in practice. In fact, as of 2018, fewer than 10 brokers operating in the country were formally regulated by the CMA. This gave rise to a cat-and-mouse game that involved the CMA continually hunting down and issuing negative directives against non-compliant brokers. In 2018, the CMA asked all brokers not licensed by the regulator to cease and desist from trading and onboarding Kenyan investors. Be sure to check that your chosen broker is also regulated in other major economies. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CYSEC) are considered to be two of the best regulators in the world. If a broker has gone to the trouble of being in good standing with these two entities, it is surely a good sign.
Commissions and Fees in Kenya
A first step in FOREX trading is identifying the spread differential, defined as the difference between the bid (sell) price and the ask (buy) price of a currency pair. While most FOREX currency pairs are traded without commission, the spread is one “cost” that applies to any trade that you place. This is, indeed, the biggest source of profit for the FOREX broker. Good companies typically offer a EUR-USD spread of three basis points.
As for commissions, FOREX trading brokers can be placed in three categories. The first offer fixed spreads, while the second tender variable spreads, and a third category of companies offer low-cost spreads but that come with a (relatively high) fixed commission.
Tradable Assets and Instruments
Notwithstanding the CMA’s running battles with unregulated brokers, the country allows trading in all major asset classes. This includes cryptocurrencies, stocks, mutual funds, bonds, commodities and exchange traded funds (ETF), in addition to FOREX. Regarding cryptos, the Kenyan central bank has reminded Kenyan traders that cryptos are not legal tender and that investors must spend their money wisely when it comes to this unregulated asset class.
Payments, Deposits and Withdrawals in Kenya
Kenyan traders can make deposits and withdrawals into and out of their trading accounts with M-Pesa, a widely adopted electronic payment system in the country. Unlike making deposits in USD or any other currency, depositing and withdrawing using the Kenyan shilling is fast and seamless and means local traders don’t need to worry about currency conversion. Also, many Kenya FOREX brokers offer commission-free deposits and withdrawals with M-Pesa, which is not the case with debit and credit cards, and that, while permitted as a form of payment, are subject to long wait times and additional fees.
FOREX Trading Customer Service
As timing is key to FOREX trading, you must pick a brokerage firm that is able to provide good customer support around the clock. This most notably includes the company representatives being easy to reach, fast, and polite, which will in turn spare you of having to worry about problems down the road.
Technical Aspects of the Broker’s Website
When it comes to sharing sensitive personal information online, such as a credit card, cyber security is paramount. You should, therefore, always look out for SSL certification and two-factor authentication (especially when registering with a new site).
To provide our users with peace of mind, we at Arincen have introduced the “Company Checker,” which is an online tool directly linked to an international Website called Scamadviser. The latter is an independent site that checks the countries in which these FOREX Websites are managed, where the server is located, in addition to other security and informational aspects. It ranks FOREX firms by granting them a score ranging from 0% to 100%, with the best FOREX firms usually receiving a score of 90% and above. Any company that has achieved a score lower than 85% should thus be avoided. Simultaneously, whenever looking for a new FOREX broker, users must ensure its Website is fast, modern and user-friendly.
Trading Platforms, Tools and Features
Kenyan brokers must be able to support standard trading and Islamic trading alike. Kenya is home to a sizeable Muslim community, meaning that brokers must offer a Sharia-compliant platform, tools, and features.
Most modern traders desire access to the strongest networks that can support algorithmic high-volume trades. Kenyan traders are no different. In this respect, the country is sufficiently equipped to handle advanced electronic communications network (ECN)-enabled brokers that demand the best technology to provide institutional grade execution speed.
All major trading platforms can be found in Kenya. This means that you can take your pick of brokers that offer CTrader or MetaTrader, to name only two platforms. Naturally, given MetaTrader’s dominance in the trading world and in the FOREX market, it is common to find brokers who offer access to the highly recognizable MT4.
Ask Other Traders on Our Network
Arincen has spent a great deal of time and effort creating a collaborative environment where traders of all backgrounds come to meet. After all, Arincen’s vision is to simplify the world of trading and democratize the ability to improve one’s financial position. Our Website provides a peerless range of tools, such as much-loved signals, rolling news, and a thriving community, where traders of all levels of experience can learn from each other.
Best Broker and Platform for Beginners in Kenya 2023
Here are our expert’s 7 best FOREX brokers in Kenya for 2023
FXDD 92.15 Best Overall Broker
ICM Capital 91.10 Best Deposit and Withdrawal Broker
XTB 85.55 Best Customer Service Broker
IG 85.45 Best Regulations Broker plus Convenient Platform
Saxobank 80.09 Excellent Private Trading Platform
CMC Markets 80.07 More than 9,000 Assets
Think Markets 80.05 Aimed at the Audience of Traders
Here is a summary of each broker from our 11 Best Brokers in Kenya pick and their pros and cons
FXDD received the highest score in our survey (92.15). One of the first FOREX companies to offer a credit card in order to allow traders to withdraw their profits, this New York-based company has the UK's FCA license under its belt. It also has a rich portfolio of assets, offers a relatively low spread, in addition to the MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform. Further, it has excellent and fast customer service, and also offers traders a variety of ways to deposit money.
CM Capital is considered the industry leader in deposits and withdrawals, whereby each withdrawal does not take more than five business days. Moreover, the company offers its customers a handy credit card to withdraw their profits, in addition to enabling customers to use various deposit methods. The company, which is licensed by the UK's FCA, has several branches around the world. Among other things, it has a rich portfolio of assets, especially stocks, offers a low spread, as well as the ability to use MT4.
What distinguishes XTB is the fact that it offers the best customer experience among all the companies we have surveyed. Indeed, it boasts the fastest response rate from all the companies under investigation. This is especially relevant, since the market is always on-the-go, and so you need to act fast. XTB offers lots of asset classes, as well as the ability to use the MT4 trading platform. Finally, it maintains a relatively low spread, which is suitable for quick deals.
IG is arguably the best broker when it comes to security and trust, boasting, as it does, licenses from 10 regulatory bodies, including the all-important FCA from the UK. The company is also a bank and is a publicly traded company in London. It is known for offering more than 10,000 asset classes of currencies, commodities, future contracts, ETFs, indices, cryptocurrencies etc. Further, it has its own state-of-the-art trading platform and offers a relatively low spread.
Saxobank is considered one of the best investment banks in the area of financial markets and currencies, as it offers the very best trading platform and tools from all the companies we have reviewed. Meanwhile, its spread is very low and, as such, suitable for short-term deals; and it offers a large number of asset classes, including currencies, commodities, indices etc. Finally, its customer service is excellent and very responsive to traders' needs.
CMC Markets is thought of as one the best companies, offering some 9,000 asset classes that encompass currencies, commodities, indices, cryptocurrencies, bonds and stocks. The company offers a relatively low spread, the MT4 platform, and fast customer service. It is most suited for traders looking for diversity in asset classes.
Originally founded in New Zealand in 2010, and moving to Australia within the space of their first two years, Think Markets is a global online brokerage focusing on FOREX and CFD trading. In addition to a range of major and minor currency pairs. Think Markets has an array of CFDs on offer. This includes indices, as well as hard and soft commodities.
Most FOREX brokers use the MT4 platform, which is rightly considered as the best third-party platform on the market. For the best proprietary platform with advanced tools and new innovations for the progressive trader, Saxo Bank has the best proprietary platform.
Which FOREX broker charges the lowest fees?
Our panel of experts has determined that FXDD’s ECN account offers unmatched low fees for entry level and expert traders alike.
Which FOREX broker offers the most CFDs? If trading CFDs is your preference, and you are looking for a broker with a wide range of CFD instruments in which to invest, try CMC Markets or IG, both of which offer a plethora of CFDs to invest in.
Which FOREX broker offers the most assets? If you are the type of trader who is always on the lookout for new assets to try and you are frustrated by the limited range offered by your broker, spend some time looking into the extensive range of assets on offer from CMC and IG, two brokers synonymous with endless asset class choice.
Which FOREX broker is best for professionals? Professional traders are becoming more demanding as technology improves. If you require services like advanced indicators, access to day trading, and advanced trading orders, look for brokers that offer MT4 for some of the most advanced analysis tools anywhere on the market.
How to check if your broker is trustworthy ?
At the get-go, it is important to learn more about regulatory bodies and their role in the FOREX market. These are government entities charged with regulating the sector. Their role is two-fold:
Observing andregulating the work environment in the FOREX market; and
Protecting investors and their funds.
FOREX firms must obtain at least one license from a relevant regulatory authority. Otherwise, they should always be avoided. In this context, we present the five most important FOREX market regulatory bodies from around the world.
While FOREX market regulatory bodies exist in almost every country, these are the most important five and also the strictest. To learn more about other regulatory bodies, please visit en.arincen.com, where you will find a comprehensive global database.
How to Verify that Your Broker Has Authorization
To check if a FOREX broker is regulated by CMA, you simply need to find the CMA disclosure information and registration number on the broker's homepage. From there, you can look up the licensing number on the financial register available on the CMA’s Website to confirm if the broker is currently licensed in Kenya.
In this introduction, we looked at the best FOREX brokers in Kenya. We began by identifying the best five FOREX brokers in the country, listing and ranking them by their Arincen trust score. We then briefly described the regulatory environment governing these companies (more on this later in the article). Finally, we advised readers how they should go about ensuring that the broker they are looking into is licensed by a tier-1 regulator, such as the UK’s FCA, and, therefore, deemed trustworthy.
The Dos and Don’ts of FOREX Brokers
One of the first things a new FOREX trader ought to do is to check the extent to which the FOREX company abides by the rules and regulations governing its operation. Emphasis must be placed on what it can and cannot do.
There are seven things brokerage firms cannot do:
The FOREX brokerage firm cannot recommend a buy or sell;
The FOREX brokerage firm must not provide price or market expectations (rise/fall);
The FOREX firm cannot control your financial dealings (deposit/withdrawal);
The FOREX brokerage firm should not “manage” your portfolio under any circumstance;
The FOREX brokerage firm cannot grant a client a bonus unless there are clear terms guiding it from beforehand;
The brokerage firm must not use bank accounts not under its name; and
FOREX brokerage firms cannot have or offer the service of account managers.
In short, the role of brokerage firms is strictly confined to facilitating buyers and sellers to come together toward an agreed-upon commission. FOREX brokerage firms that violate any of the seven rules aforementioned should be avoided. However, should the trader wish to receive any of the above-mentioned services, our advice is to seek an expert Website like Arincen, something we will delve into toward the end of this article.
FOREX Trading Scams and How to Avoid Them?
Unfortunately, Kenyan traders are vulnerable to trading scams and fraud by virtue of the fact that it is easy for unregulated brokers to onboard Kenyan customers. While Kenya’s retail investment community is growing, it still features large swathes of brand-new entrants who frequently end up as victims of scams. The CMA is largely toothless when it comes to bringing non-compliant brokers to book.
As mentioned, in 2018 the regulator warned Kenyans against engaging in online foreign exchange trading through platforms of unlicensed entities, as they risked losing their investments because the law could not protect them. To protect yourself from scams, you are advised to conduct your own research on the broker you choose. It does not mean that an unregulated broker is automatically out to scam you, but you are more vulnerable with this type of broker.
Will Your Money Be Protected if Your Broker Becomes Insolvent?
The CMA runs an Investor Compensation Fund, “established for compensating investors who suffer pecuniary loss resulting from the failure of a licensed stockbroker or dealer to meet their contractual obligations.” That’s the good news. The bad news is that the maximum compensation is Kshs50,000 per investor, which translates to a paltry $500.
Who Is Arincen and What Do We Do?
Put simply, Arincen is a social networking platform that brings together traders and experts to exchange expertise and ideas. Together, we evaluate the best FOREX companies in the world while offering a compressive suite of services and tools, all in one place, either via a computer or a mobile app. The platform is so rich that one can create his own private portfolio of traders and experts they like and, at the same time, follow their recommendations and investment sentiments.
Further, thanks to Arincen, users can keep an eye on market-price developments, as well as the latest news. Users can also benefit from the network’s educational courses on offer, to say nothing of exciting Webinars – all done in a modern and fast-paced work environment. Get all what you need in one place, not less, not more. In short. Arincen: We Meet to Simplify the Trading World.
If anything, the key message to take away from this article is that the FOREX brokerage firm one picks must be legally licensed and well-regulated. On a final note, it is never advisable to deal with FOREX companies on your own. It is best this is done with the help of industry experts, who can provide you with all the services FOREX companies cannot. Start trading using Arincen and enjoy all the services, advice and tools it has to offer, while making your trading experience profitable!
Arincen’s Review Methodology
The team at Arincen collected more than 120 pieces of data covering more than 100 licensed FOREX companies. Data collection was done in three ways:
Other Websites that have ranked FOREX companies.
A survey questionnaire (referred to here as Survey “1”) we had sent to the companies invited to participate in the exercise. We have identified 13 criteria for our assessment, each containing several aspects and carrying its own relative weight. These include licensing, deposits and withdrawals, number of assets, etc.
Afterward we validated the data by:
Registering with FOREX companies as a secret shopper and/or as Arincen.
Survey number “2,” in which we asked these companies’ customers for important feedback and experience.
The next step saw us evaluate and rank each company, relying on the hard work of 15 Arincen employees. We were very careful in ensuring the most accurate assessment possible, including considering different languages, as well as the various mobile-app operating systems, e.g., Apple, Samsung, etc.
To add credibility to our research project, we sent a final and third survey (referred to here as Survey “3”) to enable participating FOREX companies to evaluate our own research and whether it accurately reflects the realities on the ground. We were fortunate enough to receive a mark of 9.9 out of 10! We have kept to a minimum the margin of error, which stood at a measly 1%. To learn more on how we came up with the evaluation, please click here.
The FOREX market is a place where global currencies are bought and sold. It is the largest financial market in the world and requires technologically sound tools if you are to participate as a retail trader. The market operates 24 hours a day and five days a week (Monday through Friday), except international holidays.
What is FOREX trading?
FOREX trading involves professional and retail traders as well as institutions engaged in the process of buying and selling different global currencies for a profit. Retail traders select a currency pair and, in anticipation of market-driven changes in value, wait for the right moment to make a sale for a profit.
What costs and commissions are associated with FOREX trading?
FOREX brokers charge any combination of commissions, spreads, and financing fees. Brokers can either charge a spread (the difference between the buy and sell price of a currency pair) and include their facility fee in the spread, or they can charge only a market rate spread and levy a commission per trade outside the spread.
Financing fees come into play if you hold your position overnight. You must pay a financing cost for the benefit of keeping your positions open for an extended time. Naturally, this does not apply to Islamic traders, who, rather than paying a fee to hold their positions open, pay a wider spread.
How important is good customer service in FOREX trading?
High market availability is key to FOREX trading. Traders must pick a brokerage firm that is able to provide good customer support around the clock. Company representatives must be easy to reach, well-trained, and knowledgeable enough to be of use in times of difficulty.
Is FOREX trading legal in Kenya?
Yes, trading FOREX trading is legal in Kenya. The CMA encourages traders to only invest with FOREX brokers that are under its regulatory watch.
Is FOREX trading taxable in Kenya?
Yes, FOREX trading is taxable in the country. Kenyan residents who generate profit from trading FOREX must declare their earnings as they would with normal taxable income. As always, you are advised to consult a tax professional to understand your tax liability in more detail.