Is Forex Trading Legal in Kenya?
This is a complete guide to when the best time to trade forex in Kenya.
In this in-depth guide you’ll learn:
- What is the best time to trade forex?
- When is considered the best time to trade forex in Kenya?
- Our recommended forex brokers?
- How to compare forex trading brokers against each other?
- When is the best time to trade forex in Kenya?
- Which currency pairs can you trade at night in Kenya?
- What is the difference between low and high currency pairs?
- When does the market open in Kenya, every day of the week?
- Which sessions are only open Monday to Friday?
- Best trading times for beginner traders?
- Which forex brokers offer a low minimum deposit of $5 (592 KES)?
- Which brokers offer a signup bonus for first-time traders?
And lots more…
So if you’re ready to go “all in” with the best time to trade forex for Kenyans…
Let’s dive right in…
What is Forex Trading?
👉 Buying one currency and selling another is at the heart of foreign exchange trading. Currency traders aggressively speculate on the future value of a currency by purchasing and selling it, hoping to make a profit from the difference.
👉 It is estimated that $6 trillion is exchanged each day in the foreign exchange market, often known as forex or the FX market. Foreign exchange (Forex) trading occurs around the clock, five days a week, among banks, institutions, and individual dealers throughout the globe.
👉 Since there is no unified Forex market, currencies are traded bilaterally in whatever financial market is active currently.
Is Forex Trading Legal in Kenya?
👉 Although very few Kenyans may be aware of it, foreign exchange (Forex) trading is legal and can be a very lucrative endeavour. For many Kenyans, foreign exchange trading is not only a very lucrative and stable source of income, but also a significant means of supporting their families.
👉 The Kenyan Forex Market presented certain difficulties because of the lack of regulation that characterized it. Subsequently, in 2017, the Capital Market Authority (CMA) presented laws to regulate the industry and lay out registration criteria.
How to choose the right Forex Broker in Kenya
👉 For novice traders entering the market, selecting a forex broker is the first and most crucial step. There are several factors to consider when choosing a broker, including picking one with low spreads, a range of markets to trade, a demo account, and educational materials for traders.
👉 Forex brokers are not a one-size-fits-all, and Kenyans can check the components below to find the right forex broker suited to their unique trading needs and objectives.
Consider the Broker Type
➡️ Market Makers or Dealing Desk – Instead of hedging their clients’ holdings with liquidity providers, market makers assume the risk themselves. This implies that a client’s loss is the broker’s gain and vice versa.
➡️ Straight Through Processing (STP) indicates that orders (trades) are performed without human intervention from the broker. It is in the broker’s best interest for customers to profit since they will trade more and remain clients for longer.
➡️ Direct Market Access (DMA) is comparable to STP. The primary distinction is that STP brokers may directly fulfil orders and hedge them with liquidity providers. DMA, on the other hand, involves sending orders directly to the market and filling them depending on the price obtained from the liquidity provider.
➡️ Electronic Communications Network (ECN) brokers automatically match buy and sell orders over an Electronic Communication Network.
👉 The most crucial consideration for a potential trader is if the broker is licensed in Kenya. The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) is tasked with licensing and regulating forex brokers in Kenya.
👉 The CMA recommends that traders and investors only do business with these licensed brokers. It advises that trading with unlicensed brokers is dangerous.
👉 The risks associated with dealing with unregistered brokers include fraud, theft of confidential information, and, in the worst-case scenario, money theft.
👉 Apart from CMA, if you use a broker that is not regulated in Kenya, check the broker’s licensing in each jurisdiction in which it operates.
👉 In the United Kingdom, this is the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), in Australia it is the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), in New Zealand it is the Financial Markets Authority (FMA), and in Singapore, it is the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
👉 A platform outage, price problem, inaccurate account statement, or other technical issues might arise with any service.
👉 Although no broker is completely safe from this risk, a trader should rest easier knowing that their broker can be reached easily, will be held responsible, and will swiftly and fairly handle any difficulties that arise.
👉 The broker’s ability to help in your native tongue is another something to consider.
Trading Platform and Tools
👉 MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) are popular trading platforms, and many brokers provide either, or both, to their customers.
👉 In addition, traders must check additional tools offered, including, but not limited to:
➡️ An app that enables users to “copy” the trades of successful traders.
➡️ Software for automated technical analysis, such as AutoChartist.
➡️ PsyQuation and other tools for market research, intelligence, and sentiment analysis.
👉 Many brokers now provide resources and training to assist their customers to improve their trading abilities. Online education could take many forms, from individual blog articles and courses to full-fledged online academies and collaborations with subject-matter experts.
👉 Trading seminars, both in-person and online, are a common technique to assist newcomers to learn the ropes and develop their skills.
Risk Management Features
👉 Traders may practice making trades on a simulated platform with virtual funds by signing up for a free demo account, which is often provided by brokers.
👉 While demo accounts typically have a short lifespan (usually one month), customers who transition to a genuine account are sometimes offered the option to keep the demo account active permanently.
👉 Also, it is important to make sure the broker allows for all order types that may be used to mitigate risk. To reduce trading risk, a stop-loss order and take-profit target should be in place.
Execution Speed and Slippage
👉 Execution speed is crucial for most traders since it allows for more precise pricing in a dynamic market. But it is crucial for traders that engage in high-volume trading to use scalping tactics or Expert Advisors.
👉 In such situations, even microseconds of lag time between transactions might result in monetary loss. One thing to keep in mind is that the execution speed in a demo account may not be the same as in a real-money trading account while testing a broker’s service.
👉 When a trade order is filled at a different price than was offered, this is known as slippage. Brokers cannot completely eradicate slippage, but it is more noticeable during high-risk market events when liquidity is low.
👉 Therefore, Kenyan traders must be alert to the possibility of slippage and ready to act appropriately.
Range of Markets
👉 An excellent broker will provide a wide selection of trading items. A trader’s knowledge of the options accessible to them is useful even if their primary concentration is on currency pairs.
👉 It would be disappointing if, for example, a trader saw a trading opportunity in oil, cryptocurrency, or the stock market but could not take advantage of it because their broker did not provide access to those markets.
👉 Most of a broker’s income used to come from commissions and fees, but as we enter a new age, many brokers are doing away with those sources of income to stay competitive.
👉 Because not all brokers have yet achieved the point of zero costs, you should be aware that each one has its own set of fees.
👉 Fees like commission should also be included. Traders may open an account with a variety of brokers, each of which offers a unique set of features and services for a price.
👉 You might find that some accounts have a bigger spread but no commission, while others have lower spreads but a commission fee. It is set up that way so that each trader may choose the account type that is most suited to their trading style and budget.
👉 Swaps are another factor that should not be ignored by those who initiate and maintain currency trades overnight.
👉 Depending on the currency pair and the direction of the trade (long or short), the costs associated with this sort of transaction, known as a swap rate, may be either positive or negative.
Leverage and Margin
👉 The maximum level of leverage allowed is standardized in certain countries and is not up to negotiation between brokers. When there are no regulations concerning leverage, the level of leverage may be adjusted to meet the needs of the customer.
👉 Kenyans must remember that the risk increases as leverage increases, regardless of the amount chosen.
👉 One of the benefits of having a trading account is the ability to deposit and withdraw cash via a variety of methods. In most cases, credit card deposits are the most convenient, fast, and secure method; however, certain brokers may provide regionally specific alternatives.
👉 Over the last few years, more deposit and withdrawal methods have been accessible, and cryptocurrency is among them.
👉 Multiple account types are often made available by brokers to accommodate a wide variety of trading styles and approaches. Most people will choose a “Standard” account, which is optimized for convenience and includes all the tools that active traders need.
👉 There are other accounts aimed at professionals, which may have different pricing or more features, for those who want to trade on a more serious level.
👉 In addition, there are more specialized types of accounts, such as the VIP account for high-volume or high-net-worth traders or the ‘Swap-Free’ account for Islamic traders who are prohibited from receiving interest payments due to their faith.
Overall Reputation of the Broker
👉 Trying out a broker is sometimes the only way to see whether they are the best fit. The options may be narrowed down with some preliminary investigation.
👉 You can quickly form an opinion on whether to work with a certain broker by consulting sources such as customer reviews, trading forum threads, press announcements, awards, and publicly available financial data.
The Best Forex Brokers in Kenya
👉 In this article, we have listed the best brokers that offer forex trading to traders in Kenya. We have further identified the brokers that offer additional services and solutions to Kenyan traders.
Best MetaTrader 4 / MT4 Forex Broker in Kenya
USD 100 / 11560 KES
MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, Ava Social, Ava Protect, Trading Central
Account Activation Time
on Avatrade’s website
👉 Overall, AvaTrade is the best MT4 forex broker in Kenya. On the MetaTrader 4 platform offered by AvaTrade, traders have access to more than 1,260 distinct financial items that may be traded. This provides traders with access to a broad range of markets.
👉 AvaTrade has been in business for the last 16 years, and throughout that time, it has garnered a formidable reputation as well as several awards.
Best MetaTrader 5 / MT5 Forex Broker in Kenya
USD 100 / 11660 KES
CySec, FSC, FSA, BaFin, NFA
MetaTrader 4 , MetaTrader 5
50 Forex Pairs and 20 Crypto Pairs
Account Activation Time
👉 Overall, BDSwiss is the best MetaTrader 5 forex broker in Kenya. Kenyans have the option of opening one of four retail accounts with BDSwiss, which will allow them to trade in a few different markets.
👉 MetaTrader 5, which is offered by BDSwiss, may be accessed from any web-enabled device, including mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
Best Forex Broker for beginners in Kenya
👉 Overall, XM is the best forex broker for beginners in Kenya. XM gives Kenyans access to an interactive sample account as well as a variety of instructional resources.
👉 Before opening a real capital account, Kenyans may get their feet wet in the trading market by using the demo account and following the instructions that are offered.
Best Low Minimum Deposit Forex Broker in Kenya
👉 Overall, HF Markets is the best Low Minimum Deposit Forex Broker in Kenya. Kenyans have access to more than a thousand distinct products spanning a wide variety of asset classes on HF Markets, which they may use to trade.
👉 Simply depositing 590 KES, which is equivalent to $5, is necessary to open an account with HF Markets. Once Kenyans have verified their information, they can deposit the funds and start trading.
Best ECN Forex Broker in Kenya
👉 Overall, OctaFX is the best ECN forex broker in Kenya. With ECN technology, OctaFX guarantees that 97.5% of all orders will be executed without any slippage.
👉 OctaFX’s transaction execution times are among the fastest in the industry, and the company offers many trading platforms and reasonable leverage ratios (up to 1:500).
Best Islamic / Swap-Free Forex Broker in Kenya
USD 1 / 116 KES
Account Activation Time
👉 Overall, SuperForex is the best Islamic / Swap-Free forex broker in Kenya. There are 150 different nations that SuperForex services. Kenyan Muslims may open accounts with SuperForex that are both free of swaps and denominated in Kenyan Shillings (KES).
Best Forex Trading App in Kenya
👉 Using the Trade Nation app, Kenyans can easily monitor their open positions and get statistics on the market in real-time.
Best Kenyan Shilling Trading Account Forex Broker in Kenya
👉 Overall, Exness is the best Kenyan Shilling trading account forex broker in Kenya. Kenyans can open an account with Exness that is denominated in KES.
👉 This enables Kenyan merchants to make deposits and withdrawals in Kenyan shillings without having to worry about incurring any costs associated with currency translation.
Best Lowest Spread Forex Broker in Kenya
USD 1 / 116 KES
IFSC, FSCA (South africa), ASIC, CySEC
MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, FBS Trader – all in one mobile trading pltform, CopyTrade
on FBS’s website
👉 Overall, FBS is the best lowest spread forex broker in Kenya. FBS is unusual among brokers in that in addition to micro and cent accounts, it also offers a range of four more account types for traders with greater expertise. This makes FBS one of the most versatile brokers available.
👉 Spreads on key currency pairings like EUR/USD begin at 0.3 pips on the FBS Cent Account, while they begin at 0.0 pips on the FBS Zero Account.
Best Nasdaq 100 Forex Broker in Kenya
👉 Overall, Scope Markets is the best Nasdaq 100 forex broker in Kenya. Scope Markets, which is licensed by the CMA, offers MetaTrader 4 and 5. Additionally, Kenyans can trade commission-free in other indices in addition to the Nasdaq 100.
Best Volatility 75 / VIX 75 Forex Broker in Kenya
👉 Overall, IG is the best Volatility 75 / VIX 75 forex broker in Kenya. IG provides Kenyans with a variety of strong trading platforms to choose from.
👉 Kenyans have access to several types of trading accounts, which they may choose from based on the criteria and objectives of their trade.
Best NDD Forex Broker in Kenya
👉 Overall, FXTM is the best NDD Forex Broker in Kenya. Because of the superior level of client service and educational resources that it provides, FXTM distinguishes out as the industry’s top NDD broker.
👉 Free access to educational seminars as well as demo trading accounts is provided to every one of our Kenyan clients.
Best STP Forex Broker in Kenya
10 USD / 1156 KES
IFSC, MFSC and FSC
MetaTrader4, MetaTrader5, CopyTrade and cTrader
Account Activation Time
👉 A few of Axiory’s markets are available to be traded thanks to the platform’s use of dynamic trading accounts.
Best Sign-up Bonus Broker in Kenya
USD 1 / 116 KES
Account Activation Time
👉 Overall, InstaForex is the best sign-up bonus broker in Kenya. When new traders from Kenya sign up for a trading account with InstaForex, they are eligible to get a No-Deposit Bonus of $1,000.
👉 InstaForex is a versatile broker that offers a range of Educational Materials for Kenyan traders who are just starting, as well as Trading tools for Kenyan traders who have more experience in the market.
Forex Regulations in Kenya
👉 The Central Bank of Kenya is responsible for overseeing the operation of the foreign currency market and regulating the country’s financial system. The Bank’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, preparing the balance of payments.
👉 Accurate collection and timely reporting of statistical information by foreign currency dealers is a top priority for the Central Bank since this is essential for the Bank to achieve its goals as outlined in the Central Bank of Kenya Act.
The ecosystem of the Capital Market in Kenya
👉 The Kenyan capital market is made up of various entities, including:
➡️ The Capital Markets Authority (CMA)
➡️ The Central Depository/Settlement Agency (Central Depository & Settlement Corporation Limited (CDSC))
➡️ The Approved Exchange (NSE Kenya)
➡️ Investment Banks
➡️ Credit Rating Agencies
➡️ Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
➡️ Licensed intermediaries like dealers, stock brokers, forex brokers, money managers, investment & fund managers, and investment advisers.
👉 Since its inception in 1954, NSE has been actively operating. However, in the 1980s, the Kenyan government worried that commercial banks were too important to the country’s financial system.
👉 It became clear that they were unable to achieve the desired economic development objectives, and that an economy dominated by public businesses (with restricted financing sources and minimal public ownership) was not viable for long-term economic growth and development.
👉 The government’s goals included raising the profile of the private sector, increasing public participation in state-owned firms, and fostering more robust growth in the capital markets.
👉 The existing capital market lacked the necessary infrastructure and coordination, therefore a new, improved Capital Market structure was required to connect the lending institutions (investors) with the firms seeking financing, such as private companies and government enterprises.
👉 Therefore, the government decided to adopt a measure to improve and grow the financial industry based on proposals from CBK (Central Bank of Kenya) and the International Finance Corporation, which is referred to as Cap 485A under the Laws of Kenya.
👉 The bill’s stated goal was to establish a new government agency, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA), with jurisdiction over the Kenyan financial markets. In 1990, after the law had been enacted in 1989, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) was established.
👉 Two pieces of legislation were enacted:
➡️ The Capital Markets Act
➡️ The Central Depositories Act
👉 The CMA is the entity that is tasked with growing the capital market and ensuring that there is fairness, orderliness, and overall transparency.
👉 The CMA issues licenses as well as approvals once applicants have been verified as “fit and proper” to carry out the operations for which they are acquiring a license.
Kenyan Market Participants that must apply for a CMA License
👉 These individuals are educated and authorized to purchase or sell securities on your behalf. The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) is a self-regulatory institution under the CMA.
👉 Dealers are individuals or organizations that engage in securities transactions for their benefit.
Fund Managers and Investment Advisors
👉 The fund manager will assist you in maintaining a balanced investment portfolio by selling off assets that are no longer needed and replacing them with assets that have a higher value. CMA has licensed 29 fund managers as of May.
👉 The investment advisor evaluates factors such as your age, number of dependents, desired objectives, etc. when recommending the kind of investment portfolio that you should keep.
Authorized Securities Dealers
👉 Authorized Dealers are permitted to sell fixed-income securities such as Government bonds and Treasury bills. CMA has issued licenses to two Securities Dealers in Kenya, namely Standard Chartered and SBM Bank Kenya.
👉 Typically, investment banks participate in the main market. When a company wishes to go public, it coordinates the issue of shares, commonly known as initial public offerings (IPO). In addition, they contribute to mergers and acquisitions.
Collective Investment Schemes or CIS
👉 Collective investment schemes (CIS) bring together several participants to engage in a certain scheme, such as mutual funds, real estate, etc., and they are trained and certified for this purpose.
Custodians along with Authorized Depositories
👉 Custodians and Authorized Depositories are the safe keepers of financial papers, contracts, and other legal instruments. In addition to being bookkeepers, they reconcile accounts and clear financial instruments.
👉 The Central Depository & Settlement Corporation (CDSC) in Kenya is a CMA-approved limited liability corporation. It is responsible for the preservation of transaction instruments and documentation from the Nairobi Securities exchange, as well as their reconciliation, clearing, and delivery.
Credit Rating Agencies
👉 Credit rating agencies provide credit ratings to businesses, securities, etc. The better the credit score, the more confidently one may invest in safety. The lower the credit score, the lesser the likelihood that the organization or borrower will pay its bills on time or has paid its creditors.
Online Forex Brokers and Money Managers
👉 Online Forex Brokers and Money Managers provide their clients with trading platforms and operate as a conduit to the Forex Market for which they charge spread. Money Managers supervise and administer a client’s trading account.
👉 Online Forex Brokers must comply with the following to obtain CMA licensing:
➡️ Capital of 30 million KES.
➡️ An executive director who has proven knowledge and previous experience in financial markets.
➡️ The broker must establish a local office in Kenya.
➡️ Business in Kenya must be carried out using Kenyan Shilling.
Real Estate Investment Trusts or REIT
👉 Real-estate investment trusts (REITs) are market participants that construct and maintain homes. Investors might opt to invest in REITs and profit from the rental income and other potential advantages.
CMA-Regulated Forex Brokers in Kenya
👉 There are currently six CMA-Regulated Online Forex and CFD Brokers, including:
➡️ FXPesa by EGM securities
➡️ Scope Markets by SCFM limited
➡️ Pepperstone Markets Kenya Limited
➡️ Exinity East Africa Limited
➡️ HF Markets by HFM investment limited
➡️ Windsor Markets Kenya Limited
👉 Forex trading is legal in Kenya, and it is something actively pursued by millions of Kenyans, attributable to the ease of access to financial markets, and the low entry barriers. Kenyans have a choice between hundreds of international brokers and six CMA-regulated brokers.
👉 While forex trading is legal, there are still inherent risks involved with monetary loss, fraud, and more.
How do I trade forex in Kenya?
You can trade forex using local CMA-regulated brokers or international brokers regulated by other reputable entities that welcome Kenyan traders.
How much money should I invest in Forex?
You can start trading with any given amount depending on the broker’s minimum deposit, margin requirements, and fees. Experts recommend that Kenyans should never risk more than 1% of their overall account balance on a single trade.
Why do I keep losing money in forex?
Overtrading, defined as trading too often or too frequently, is the leading cause of Forex trader failure. Probable causes of overtrading include overly high-profit objectives, market addiction, and inadequate capitalization.
How difficult is forex?
Forex trading is sometimes misunderstood as an effortless way to earn a living, even though it is a challenging and enthralling profession. The foreign exchange market is the world’s biggest and most liquid market, yet trading currencies differ significantly from trading equities or commodities.
Can I learn forex on my own?
Yes, you can, but it takes time, commitment, and patience. Everyone has their own approach to learning Forex trading, making it difficult to discover a common guide.
Traders often seek success tales from all around the globe and attempt to incorporate some of the ideas into their own approaches.