As the number of new brokers in the FOREX market increases, firms in the industry are putting more focus on keeping their customers happy to safeguard their profits. Customers are worried about the dangers of trading FOREX with the wrong broker. As such, they could really do with the guidance required to stay away from low-quality brokerage firms. For this reason, we will be listing the best FOREX brokers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 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?
For the FOREX trader, it can be comforting to know that the FOREX market is the largest financial market in the world at some six trillion dollars daily, only followed by the credit market. 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. This could be done either on a personal computer (PC) or by using a smartphone.
How Do I Choose the Best FOREX Broker in Saudi Arabia?
It is important for traders to first understand the situation as it pertains to regulation in Saudi Arabia before they choose a broker. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) regulates and drives policy direction for the FOREX markets and Saudi-based FOREX brokers. The SAMA also manages the country’s national currency, making it a significant oversight body. FOREX brokers must be licensed with the SAMA.
The Saudi Stock Exchange, otherwise known as Tadāwul, is a significant capital market in the Middle East. As many brokers offer more than simply FOREX, with access to other financial assets, like stocks, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETF), they are familiar with the rules around offering Islamic products on Tadāwul. Your first inclination should be to check that your prospective broker is affiliated with the SAMA. After checking if the FOREX broker is regulated, traders must consider the normal range of services, such as whether the broker offers a broad selection of account types, if they offer competitive spreads, and the ease with which one can complete deposits and withdrawals. You should also be interested in the number of currency pairs on offer, as well as the responsiveness of the broker’s customer service teams.
FOREX Regulations in Saudi Arabia
FOREX trading is an increasingly popular activity in Saudi Arabia. Taxes are low for Saudi nationals, and many people have disposable income with which to trade. While the SAMA is a financial oversight body, it is not a FOREX regulator per se. For that, brokers must be registered with the Capital Market Authority (CMA) before they can accept residents of Saudi Arabia as customers.
The CMA, founded in 2003, is a financial regulatory body in Saudi Arabia. It regulates and manages the Saudi Arabian capital market and is, therefore, involved in the activities of FOREX brokers. FOREX trading is completely legal in Saudi Arabia. The important caveat is that brokers must comply with Saudi regulators and Islamic principles to remain in good standing.
The SAMA and CMA are both very concerned with illicit FOREX brokers operating in Saudi Arabia. In 2017, they jointly launched awareness campaigns to warn traders about illegal Websites that offered FOREX trading services without the requisite approvals. These two oversight bodies work hand in glove to ensure that brokers continue to do what is required according to Saudi administrative and religious law.
Notwithstanding local regulations, it is always important to check if your broker happens to be regulated by overseas tier-1 regulators. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySec) are but two premier regulators with which responsible brokers seek to be associated.
Commissions and Fees in Saudi Arabia
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, the second tender variable spreads, with a third category of companies offering low-cost spreads, but that come with a (relatively high) fixed commission.
Tradable Assets and Instruments
To comply with Sharia finance laws, brokers must create products that do not give traders the chance to profit from interest. In Sharia finance law, halal activities are permitted, while haram activities are not permitted. Earning interest from bonds is, therefore, haram, as is paying interest in rollover fees when trading FOREX.
Any SAMA licensed trader undertakes to create products that are fully compliant with Islamic laws. For the new trader, it helps to look for banners on your broker’s Website indicating they are fully compliant with Islamic trading principles. Most responsible brokers are happy to share the resources they have created that explain how they comply with all legal and religious requirements.
Traders can invest in financial instruments like stocks, mutual funds and ETFs, in addition to FOREX. Naturally, financial instruments that are dependent on interest payments for their viability, like bonds and treasury bills, cannot be offered in Saudi Arabia.
Payments, Deposits and Withdrawals in Saudi Arabia
The SAMA and the CMA ensure that financial transactions, like deposits and withdrawals, happen seamlessly. Saudi Arabia is a developed and wealthy economy with sophisticated infrastructure. Payment flows continue as they would in any other developed economy, with the proviso that transactions must not stem from activities that bear an interest component.
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
Any type of broker can set up operations in Saudi Arabia, whether they are a small broker just entering the market or a large and established industry name. The trading platforms that support Islamic trading are no different from those that support standard trading. Therefore, you will find the same well-known third-party tools, like MetaTrader’s MT4 and MT5, as well as some proprietary platforms.
Many modern traders want access to the fastest networks that can support algorithmic high-volume trades. Saudi Arabian traders are no different. In this respect, the country is well equipped to handle advanced electronic communications network (ECN)-enabled brokers that demand the best technology to provide institutional-grade execution speed.
Ask Other Traders on Our Network
Arincen is where traders meet in a space dedicated to simplifying the financial world. Traders can form powerful communities and learn from each other. Even beginner traders find a home here as they can study the moves that more established traders make. This is why we have no hesitation in encouraging you to ask other traders on our network about their experience of working on our Website. We are confident that the supportive community we have fostered will speak for itself.
Best FOREX Broker and Platform for Beginners in Saudi Arabia
Here are our expert’s 11 best FOREX brokers in KSA for 2022
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 KSA pick with 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.
For traders on the lookout for a mature broker that has taken the time to develop all its products and features to a high level, look no further than Saxo Bank. Further, Saxo Bank has developed its proprietary platform to the extent that many believe its innovative tools are superior to MT4, the industry staple.
Which FOREX broker charges the lowest fees?
Look no further, as we have done all the analysis and cost comparison for you. We can reveal that FXDD’s ECN account offers the lowest fees on the market.
Which FOREX broker offers the most CFDs?
It takes a deliberate effort on the part of brokers to continually increase the number of CFDs they offer. Product development in terms of quality and range takes time and money, so we have no hesitation in saying that CMC Markets and IG have risen to the top of our list of brokers that offer extensive CFD selections.
Which FOREX broker offers the most assets?
As they offer the most CFDs, it should come as no surprise that CMC and IG offer the widest range of assets on the market. A quick visit to their respective Websites will reveal that each of them offers a wide array of asset classes.
Which FOREX broker is best for professionals?
Professional traders are interested in peerless execution speed, tailor-made account types, and advanced indicators like Bollinger Bands, Harmonic, and Elliot Waves, to name a few. Indeed, professional traders demand the best and the latest technologically-driven products. As the most widely-used FOREX platform, MT4 ticks all these boxes, so any broker that uses this third-party platform should get your attention.
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: 1. Observing andregulating the work environment in the FOREX market; and 2. Protecting investors and their funds. FOREX firms must at least obtain one license from a relevant regulatory authority. Otherwise, they should be avoided at all times. In this context, we present the five most important FOREX market regulatory bodies from around the world. 1. The FCA, UK; 2. The SwissFinancial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA); 3. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC); 4. The Financial Markets Authority, New Zealand; and 5. The National Futures Association (NFA), US. 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
One of the first things to do in identifying if a FOREX broker is, indeed, regulated by the SAMA and the CMA is to ascertain the registry number from the disclosure text at the bottom of the broker's Saudi Arabia home page. Then to look up the firm on the SAMA and CMA membership lists to validate the current regulatory status of the FOREX broker in Saudi Arabia. In this introduction, we looked at the best FOREX brokers in Saudi Arabia. We began by identifying the best five FOREX brokers in the country, listing and ranking them by their Arincen trustscore. We then briefly described the regulatory environment governing these companies (more on this later on 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
Each market is prone to its own scams. For example, countries that have powerful regulators that demand total transparency from brokers will often not suffer from the same scams that are prevalent in markets where the same information is not readily available. In the case of Saudi Arabia, the CMA has in the past tried to alert its members to the dangers of Websites that claim to be legitimate, but are, in fact, run by criminals.
The CMA is proactive in running public awareness campaigns as soon as they become aware of scam activity. Together with the SAMA, the CMA has successfully countered scams like clone Websites and shopfront Websites that lure in customers, but have no back-end operations to support them. The CMA has shut down many such Websites, in coordination with concerned authorities. However, due to the ease of creating and building new Websites, authorities must be constantly vigilant. Therefore, the CMA and SAMA continue to jointly promote risk awareness and education.
Will Your Money Be Protected if Your Broker Becomes Insolvent?
The CMA does not run an investor compensation fund like some other regulators around the world. In its handbook on good financial governance, the CMA only offers a guideline on the recovery of proceeds from fraud by saying, “Recovering the proceeds of fraud and other losses can be pursued through criminal prosecution or through other channels, such as administrative or disciplinary measures.”
It goes on to say that the public must notify it of suspected fraud cases. However, the onus remains on financial institutions to help customers formalize these reports by “Considering the best method of how to receive complaints and reports on fraud from customers and ordinary citizens.” Therefore, it may be tricky to receive compensation from fraud or broker insolvency.
What Tools and Platforms Should FOREX Brokers Offer?
Saudi Arabia has a powerful economy driven by oil and petroleum sales. This has meant that there is a good pool of traders and would-be traders with money to devote to FOREX trading. As home computing flourished, and online retail trading became widespread in other parts of the world, Saudi Arabia followed suit.
The popularity of FOREX trading is continuously on the rise, as more brokers introduce FOREX trading accounts that are totally compliant with Islamic trading rules and requirements. These brokers have the platforms to support it.
Saudi-based brokers have been able to easily provide access to both proprietary and third-party platforms. Using these tools, brokers can offer access to a variety of account types that cater to novices and professionals across the spectrum. This is all capped off by fast execution speeds, variable and flexible contract sizes, deep and insightful market intelligence as well as constant news alerts.
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, one can create their 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 in excess of 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 past 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 taking into account 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 third and final 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%.
Is FOREX trading legal in Saudi Arabia?
Yes, trading FOREX trading is legal in Saudi Arabia. You simply need to ensure that you deal with brokers that are regulated by the local authorities. Saudi nationals normally do not have restrictions on the amount of money they can deposit or withdraw. If you are not a Saudi national but you reside in the country and you wish to trade FOREX, consult your broker on the rules around deposits and withdrawals.
What is FOREX?
The FOREX market is where global currencies are traded and exchanged. It is a large and fast-moving market that requires sophisticated and up-to-date tools if you are to participate. The market operates 24 hours a day and five days a week (Monday through Friday), except international holidays.
What is FOREX trading?
FOREX trading is all about buying and selling different currencies for a profit. FOREX trading was started by large institutions with professional traders. Nowadays, with the advent of personal computing and a range of online brokers from which to choose, retail FOREX trading has taken off in a big way.
What costs and commissions are associated with FOREX trading?
To understand FOREX, you first need to get to grips with the spread, which represents the difference between the buying price and the selling price. You may also have to pay commission on each trade, which is another way for FOREX traders to make money.
How important is good customer service in FOREX trading?
As high market availability is key to FOREX trading, you 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.
Can foreigners trade FOREX in Saudi Arabia?
An investor from another country can participate in the Saudi financial market through the "Qualified Foreign Investor Program" offered by Tadawul, as part of its programs for developing the financial sector in Saudi Arabia. This program has been modified to simplify registration requirements and increase the pool of qualifying investors.
Is FOREX trading taxable in Saudi Arabia?
Saudi nationals are not subject to income tax in Saudi Arabia. Foreign individuals are taxed on income derived from investments in Saudi projects at a rate of 20%. As always, it is a good idea to consult a tax professional to understand your tax liability in relation to your personal situation.
Adrian Ashley is a seasoned business and finance writer. With a corporate career spanning over 20 years, he has developed deep experience in such diverse areas as investing, business, finance, technology and macroeconomics.