Best Forex Brokers in Kenya

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Kenya is the third-largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa, behind Nigeria & South Africa, and one of the most-productive economies across Africa. Kenya is considered the East African business, finance, & technology hub. Online Forex trading in Kenya is regulated by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA). 

Top Forex Brokers in Kenya

1
FXTM
The ratings shown on DailyForex.com are determined by hours of research from our editorial team into over 10 factors, including account fees, deposit/withdrawal options, regulatory status, tradable assets, and more.
Best all around broker
High floating leverage + fast execution
2
AvaTrade
The ratings shown on DailyForex.com are determined by hours of research from our editorial team into over 10 factors, including account fees, deposit/withdrawal options, regulatory status, tradable assets, and more.
High level regulation in multiple jurisdictions
Impressive range of tradeable assets including vanilla options and gold options
3
Squared Financial
The ratings shown on DailyForex.com are determined by hours of research from our editorial team into over 10 factors, including account fees, deposit/withdrawal options, regulatory status, tradable assets, and more.
Perfect choice for automated trading
Maximum leverage of 1:500
4
IFC Markets
The ratings shown on DailyForex.com are determined by hours of research from our editorial team into over 10 factors, including account fees, deposit/withdrawal options, regulatory status, tradable assets, and more.
Top-rated Canadian broker
7% annualized interest on free margin
5
Pepperstone
The ratings shown on DailyForex.com are determined by hours of research from our editorial team into over 10 factors, including account fees, deposit/withdrawal options, regulatory status, tradable assets, and more.
Best ECN execution on the MT4 platform
Excellent implementation of cTrader and Smart Trader Tools

FXTM, Best all-around: high floating leverage + fast execution.
AvaTrade, Highly regulated, choice of fixed or floating spreads.
Squared Financial, No minimum deposit for the commission-free trading account.
IFC Markets, 600+ Instruments, 0% deposits, free Autochartist signals .
Pepperstone, Great ECN execution on MT4 platform.

FXTM

5.0/5 in this category
In Summary
Best all-around: high floating leverage + fast execution

We have made FXTM our top-rated broker because in addition to its lengthy track record, it enjoys a very high level of regulation and reputation, and it offers a highly competitive fee structure which tends to keep down the cost of trading.

Unique Features

Headquarters

Cyprus

Regulation

CySEC, FCA, FSC, CMA

Year Founded

2011

Type of Broker

Instant/Market Execution

Minimum Deposit

$50

Maximum Leverage

Flexible

Type of Platform

MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5

FXTM, or “ForexTime”, has been around for a long time: they were founded in 2011. Recent years have seen them continue to steadily expand their business, and they are well- regulated by the U.K., Cyprus, Mauritius, and South Africa. The brand is owned by private companies incorporated in the U.K., Cyprus, and Mauritius. Customers of FXTM have access to more than 57 Forex currency pairs and crosses, precious metals, the major energies, equity indices, big cryptocurrencies, and a few individual American stocks. Talking of stocks, FXTM are quite unique in the area of trading stocks, as they enable direct trading through real legal ownership, not just wrapped as CFDs like almost every other similar brokerage offers.

FXTM offers traders a choice between two of the most popular execution models: customers may open either an ECN-type account, or one that trades by “straight-through processing”. Clients have a straight choice between two trading platforms, with both MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 on offer.

Through their Mauritius regulator, FXTM offer leverage as high as 1000 to 1. In the U.K. and Cyprus, they are limited by law from offering more than 30 to 1.

If you are looking for a broker with a good copy trading program, it is worth taking a serious look at FXTM’s “FXTM Invest” copy trading program.

FXTM Pros & Cons

Advantages

  • Excellent client deposit protection

  • Low minimum deposit

  • Free MT4 add-ons and VPS hosting

  • Good educational tools

Disadvantages

  • No cryptocurrencies or exotic currencies

  • Low leverage for retail traders

  • Internal withdrawal fees and an inactivity fee

AvaTrade

5.0/5 in this category
In Summary
Highly regulated, choice of fixed or floating spreads

AvaTrade was founded in 2006 in Dublin, Ireland. They are one of the largest and most famous Forex / CFD brokers in the world and became well-known for offering their clients a choice of fixed or floating spread cost of trading models. They enjoy an extremely high and strong level of regulation, making them a favorite for traders who are extremely nervous about the security of their deposit, which in Ireland can be protected by a strong investor deposit protection provision. AvaTrade is directly regulated in Ireland (and by extension, the European Union), Australia, Japan, South Africa, and the British Virgin Islands. Outside the European Union, Ava’s maximum leverage offered runs as high as 400 to 1.

Unique Features

Headquarters

Ireland

Year Founded

2006

Type of Broker

ECN/STP

Minimum Deposit

$100

Maximum Leverage

1:400

Type of Platform

MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, Proprietary platform, Web-based

In addition to their longevity and safe reputation, clients know that through AvaTrade they have access to a broad range of asset classes through which diversification can be achieved successfully: AvaTrade offers trading in over 55 different Forex currency pairs, 17 commodities, 20 equity indices, 14 cryptocurrencies, plus 66 individual stocks and shares. Even better, and unusually, 2 bonds and 6 ETFs are also on the menu. The diversity offered here stands out.

Whether you are located within the European Union or not, all branches of AvaTrade will offer you negative balance protection, above and beyond what is mandated by the law. This means that under no circumstances will any client of AvaTrade ever be held liable by the firm for an amount larger than their deposit.

 

AvaTrade Pros & Cons

Advantages

  • Well-regulated globally, with the Bank of Ireland, the primary regulator

  • Low minimum deposit and in-depth educational tools

  • Wide asset choice across seven sectors

  • Superior mobile trading platform

Disadvantages

  • Low leverage for retail traders

  • High quarterly inactivity fee

  • Unacceptable cost for AvaProtect

Squared Financial

4.5/5 in this category
In Summary
No minimum deposit for the commission-free trading account

Squared Financial offers clients a competitive trading environment from its Seychelles subsidiary. It also maintains an account branch operating out of Cyprus, governed by the ESMA. While the commission-free account features high mark-ups commencing from 1.2 pips or $12 per lot, the commission-based alternative shows raw spreads for a cost of $5.00 per lot. The former has no minimum deposit requirement, but the latter requires $5,000, while the maximum leverage remains capped at 1:500 for both. The MT4 and MT5 trading platforms are available to cater to traders looking for the most popular platforms on the market. 

Unique Features

Headquarters

Cyprus

Regulation

CySEC, FSA

Year Founded

2005

Type of Broker

35,38

Minimum Deposit

0$

Maximum Leverage

1:500

Type of Platform

MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5

The asset selection covers six sectors but with 150+ overall instruments, more than suitable for most traders. Traders can find 50 currency pairs, five cryptocurrency pairs, and five commodities, but this selection may expand to meet the industry's evolving demands. Completing the trading choices are 54 equity CFDs, 13 index CFDs, and 19 futures contracts. The Squared Academy delivers an educational section for new traders, where many short videos provide a basic overview of seven topics. Several articles also feature trading ideas and Squared Financial also publishes daily market commentary. A $50 deposit bonus and a volume-based cashback program, which lowers final trading costs, are available. 

SquaredFinancial Pros & Cons

Advantages

  • Quality education program SquaredAcademy

  • No minimum deposit for the commission-free trading account

  • Dynamic leverage and volume-based rebate program

  • Above-average leverage for equity traders

Disadvantages

  • $5,000 minimum deposit for the commission-based trading account

  • Limited asset selection

  • No MT4/MT5 upgrades

IFC Markets

4.5/5 in this category
In Summary
600+ Instruments, 0% deposits, free Autochartist signals

IFC Markets is a longstanding broker having been founded in 2006 and today has 165,000 clients from 80 countries. It operates with licenses under multiple jurisdictions including the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission, the Malaysia Labuan Financial Services Authority, and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission.

 IFC has a huge number of Forex pairs available to traders, and many other markets including precious metals, equity indexes, and individual stocks. IFC Markets now has over 600 instruments available to traders.

IFC Markets developed the cutting edge NetTradeX platform for its customers for instant execution and advanced market analytics. They even go so far as to provide a video tutorial on the platform so you can get up and running straight away. If you are more familiar with the highly popular MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms, IFC Markets also has those available for its customers who want to stay with the MetaTrader suite. All their platforms can be traded on desktops, tablets, and smartphones.

The company is very tech-focused having been awarded a US Patent for their Portfolio Quoting Method.

IFC Markets is best for its technological capabilities and it is best for a trader wanting a wide variety of instruments to trade.

IFC Pros & Cons

Advantages

  • Vast Educational Material

  • Demo Accounts

  • Several Trading Platforms

  • CySEC Regulation

Disadvantages

  • No Bonuses or Promotions

Pepperstone

4.5/5 in this category
In Summary
Great ECN execution on MT4 platform


Pepperstone, founded in 2010 and headquartered and regulated in Australia, the U.K., and Dubai, is possibly the most well-known ECN Forex broker in the world. ASIC’s deft regulatory touch combined with local expertise made Australia a haven for broker startups heavy on technology and offering extra-speedy frictionless execution and extremely high maximum leverage. Pepperstone offer geographically eligible clients a maximum leverage as high as 500 to 1, which is enough for anybody’s trading needs.

Unique Features

Headquarters

Australia

Regulation

CySEC, FCA, BaFin, ASIC, CMA, DFSA

Year Founded

2010

Type of Broker

35,139

Minimum Deposit

$200

Maximum Leverage

1:400

Type of Platform

MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, cTrader

As an ECN broker, Pepperstone offer raw spreads and low commissions. Taken together, Pepperstone’s “Razor” account gives one of the lowest and most competitive cost of trading in Forex that you will find anywhere.

In addition to their global headquarters in Australia, Pepperstone also have presences in London, England, where they enjoy full regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and in Dubai, where they are regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).

Pepperstone is renowned for its advanced technology tools such as Smart Trader Tools and cTrader Automate. cTrader is one of the more popular trading platforms out there but is not offered by a majority of brokers, so Pepperstone can be a good choice if you want to trade with an ECN brokerage through the cTrader trading platform.

Pepperstone Pros & Cons

Advantages

  • Low minimum deposit and high leverage

  • Choice of trading platforms and social trading alternatives

  • Comprehensive MT4/MT5 upgrade package and VPS hosting

  • Active trader program and competitive cost structure

Disadvantages

  • Limited asset selection

Understanding the Forex Market in Kenya

The young and tech-savvy population is eager to drive its economy forward, many international companies locate regional headquarters to Kenya, and Forex trading in Kenya is swiftly increasing in popularity, amid low capital requirements. The payment processor M-Pesa, launched in 2007 by UK-based Vodafone and Kenyan Safaricom, is a mobile phone-based money transfer, payments, and micro-financing service, targeting the unbanked, further enables access to the financial system. It became the most successful mobile-phone-based financial service in the developing world by 2010.

Forex trading is growing in popularity across Kenya, especially trading on mobile phones. The trend accelerated since the successful launch of M-Pesa, which connected millions of unbanked in Kenya to the formal financial system. There are not many licensed Forex brokers in Kenya, with EGM Securities, the first non-dealing online Forex broker operating out of Nairobi, and SCFM Limited, the second one. While financial pyramid schemes and other scams exist, as with most frontier markets, the Central Bank of Kenya, and the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) are equipped to ensure a trustworthy environment. It positions Kenya as an excellent growth market.

Is Forex Legal in Kenya?

Yes, Forex is legal in Kenya. There are no restrictions on Kenyan traders to open accounts with international brokers, which do not require a CMA license to operate in the country.

Forex Trading Regulations in Kenya

The Forex market in Kenya is primarily regulated by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA), while the Central Bank of Kenya may introduce regulation for the CMA to enforce. The CMA drafted new rules to tighten regulation, including requiring all international brokers to apply for a license, confirm minimum capital requirements, and file quarterly and annual reports with the regulator. It is a further sign of the growth of Forex trading across Kenya.

Forex Trading Regulation in Kenya

The CMA (Capital Market Authority)

The CMA has regulated Forex brokers in Kenya since 1989. It grants three licenses, Dealing Foreign Exchange Broker, Non-Dealing Foreign Exchange Broker, and Money Manager. In 2019, the CMA received the Most Innovative Capital Markets Regulator in Africa award. To date, only two Kenyan brokers hold a CMA license.

How to Verify Your Broker is Regulated?

Traders can check the broker's Company Registered Number against the CMA database to confirm of a CMA license was granted.

How to choose a Forex broker as a Kenyan trader

You need to determine what type of Forex trader you are or want to be, and then find the broker offering the right services to you. New retail traders should seek the best educational courses, low-frequency traders commission-free accounts, and high-frequency traders require tight spreads. There are initiatives focused on Forex exchange Kenya to meet the expanding interest in Kenya. Brokers with M-Pesa accounts are preferable, but Skrill and WebMoney are alternative options that connect with M-Pesa. An upgraded MT4 trading platform, superior proprietary alternative, and mobile-focused app are beneficial.

Trading Fees & Commissions

A broker’s cost structure will have a significant impact on your profitability and requires careful consideration.

  • Spreads are the difference between the bid and ask prices. They are the most basic cost in Forex trading. Commission-free spreads can be as low as 0.4 pips, while commission-based commence from 0.0 pips. Anything above 1.0 pips, on liquid currency pairs, represents an excessive mark-up.
  • Swaps are costs related to leveraged overnight positions, and transparent brokers list their swap rates on their website and the order ticket. MT4/MT5 traders can obtain them directly from the trading platform. They differ across assets and can change frequently.
  • Commissions apply to Forex accounts with access to raw spreads, charged per lot, and to equity traders in the percentage of the order value.
  • Other fees can consist of deposit/withdrawal fees, currency conversion costs, and inactivity charges.

Trading Platforms

The MT4 trading platform, once upgraded with add-ons, remains the best trading platform for most traders. It fully supports automated trading and has over 20,000 upgrades to improve the trading environment. Some brokers offer excellent proprietary alternatives, while online Forex trading in Kenya is also heavily conducted on mobile phones, for which traders should consider customized mobile apps.

Account Types

Trading from the right account type is essential and will have a significant impact on your trading results.

  • The Micro Account is best suited for deposits below $500, where 1.0 lot equals 1,000 currency units. It is excellent to learn trading and test strategies in a live account.
  • The Mini Account is ideal for portfolios below $10,000, and 1.0 lot is equal to 10,000 currency units. Most retail traders should manage portfolios from this account.
  • The Standard Account is for professional traders and retail traders with deposits above $10,000, with 1.0 lots totaling 100,000 currency units. It usually offers the best trading conditions, a fact to consider.
  • The Islamic account does not charge swap rates but can demand higher minimum deposits and wider spreads to cover the shortfall. Make sure to read the terms and conditions.

 

 

Forex Brokers Accepting M-Pesa

Pesa launched in Kenya in 2007 and has over 20 million users in Kenya. It allows swift transactions from mobile devices, access to the financial system from the unbanked, and ensures vast availability of the Forex market with easy access. While the availability of M-Pesa is not widespread with many international Forex brokers, a growing number offer it. Skrill and WebMoney allow money transfers to M-Pesa in Kenya, offering an alternative to consider. The best Forex brokers in Kenya will ensure that M-Pesa is available, as it represents the most convenient option for Kenyans.

Customer Service

Most Forex brokers explain all products and services on their website, while an FAQ section attempts to answer the most common questions. For other matters, live customer support resolves issues. Most support is in English, but many brokers deploy multi-lingual staff, per their client-base. Most traders will never require additional assistance at well-managed brokers but having swift access to customer service is essential.

Methodology

We reviewed over 100 brokers based on eleven criteria for more than 200,000 words of dedicated research compiled over 1,000 hours to find the best Forex brokers in Kenya.

FAQs

Is Forex trading illegal in Kenya?

No, Forex trading is completely legal in Kenya. There have not been any newsworthy reports of brokers operating illegally in Kenya or of non-Kenyan brokers scamming Kenyan traders.

How to start Forex trading in Kenya?

You can start trading Forex in Kenya by finding the broker that suits your trading needs, opening an account, and making a deposit. You should also make sure to educate yourself before managing a live trading account.

How to trade Forex in Kenya?

Review our listing here of the top offshore international Forex brokers for residents of Kenya and decide which broker best suits your needs. Open a demo account and check them out and teach yourself to trade profitably, then switch to a live account once you are consistently profitable.

How much do I need to start Forex trading in Kenya?

If you are opening an account with a Forex broker offering trading in micro-lots you should start with at least $120, while if your broker (like FXTM) offers nano-lots you can start safely with as little as $12.

What are the best brokers for Forex for Kenyan traders?

According to our in-depth research, the best Forex brokers in Kenya are FXTM, AVA Trade, IFC Markets, Pepperstone, and EuropeFX.

Huzefa Hamid

I’m a trader and manage my own capital. I trade the major Forex pairs, some Futures contracts, and I rely entirely on Technical Analysis to place my trades. Today, I am also a Senior Analyst for DailyForex.com. I began trading the markets in the early 1990s, at the age of sixteen. I had a few hundred British pounds saved up (I grew up in England), with which I was able to open a small account with some help from my Dad. I started my trading journey by buying UK equities that I had read about in the business sections of newspapers. The 1990s were a bull market, so naturally, I made money. I was fortunate enough in my early twenties to have a friend that recommended a Technical Analysis course run by a British trader who emphasized raw chart analysis without indicators. Having this first-principles approach to charts influences how I trade to this day.