Capital Markets Authority (CMA) Brokers 2024

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Christian Harris
Christian is a seasoned journalist with decades of experience. He transitioned from tech journalism to finance to follow his interest in investing. He has been trading stocks, futures, forex, and cryptocurrencies for more than 5 years, becoming an eToro Popular Investor. With hands-on expertise across various assets, he offers valuable trading insights.
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Jemma Grist
Jemma is a writer, editor and fact-checker focused on retail trading and investing. Jemma brings a unique perspective to the forex, stock, and cryptocurrency markets and works across several investment websites as a researcher and broker analyst.
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Jemma Grist
Jemma is a writer, editor and fact-checker focused on retail trading and investing. Jemma brings a unique perspective to the forex, stock, and cryptocurrency markets and works across several investment websites as a researcher and broker analyst.
Updated

Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority (CMA) was established in 1989 as a statutory agency under the Capital Markets Act Cap 485A. Operating under the National Treasury, the CMA’s primary mandate is to promote market integrity, protect traders, and foster fair and efficient capital markets in Kenya.

The CMA licenses and oversees various trading brokers, ensuring they comply with the legal and regulatory framework. A growing number of brokers have sought authorization from the CMA in recent years, including IC Markets and Pepperstone, as Kenya emerges as the leading centre for forex and CFD brokers in Africa.

We’ve assigned the CMA ‘yellow-tier’ status in line with our Regulation & Trust Rating, meaning it provides “strong investor protection”, especially for Kenyan traders, though it’s not as robust as ‘green-tier’ regulators.

We’ve pinpointed the best brokers regulated by the CMA. Our experts have verified the credentials of every recommended platform on the regulator’s List of Licensees.

Best CMA Brokers

After extensive hands-on testing, these 6 CMA-regulated trading platforms stand out from the pack:

Click a broker for details
  1. 1
    IC Markets

    Ratings
    4.6 / 5
    4 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    4.6 / 5
    4 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    4 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    3.1 / 5
    4.2 / 5

    $200
    0.01 Lots
    1:30 (ASIC & CySEC), 1:500 (FSA), 1:1000 (Global)
    ASIC, CySEC, FSA, CMA
    CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Bonds, Futures, Crypto
    MT4, MT5, cTrader, TradingView, TradingCentral, DupliTrade
    PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, Visa, UnionPay, Wire Transfer, Rapid Transfer, Mastercard, POLi, BPAY, Credit Card, Klarna, Swift, SafeCharge
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, NZD, JPY, CHF, HKD, SGD
  2. 2
    Pepperstone
    CFDs and FX are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs.

    Ratings
    4.6 / 5
    4 / 5
    3.8 / 5
    4.4 / 5
    4.4 / 5
    4.6 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4 / 5
    4.4 / 5
    4.1 / 5

    $0
    0.01 Lots
    1:30 (Retail), 1:500 (Pro)
    FCA, ASIC, CySEC, DFSA, CMA, BaFin, SCB
    CFDs, Forex, Currency Indices, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Crypto, Spread Betting
    MT4, MT5, cTrader, TradingView, AutoChartist, DupliTrade
    Visa, Mastercard, Credit Card, Debit Card, PayPal, Wire Transfer, POLi, UnionPay, BPAY, Neteller, Skrill
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, NZD, JPY, CHF, HKD, SGD
  3. 3
    Ingot Brokers

    $10
    0.01 Lots
    1:500
    ASIC, FSCA, JSC, FSA, CMA
    CFDs, Commodities, Stocks, Indices, ETFs, Forex, Cryptocurrencies
    MT4, MT5
    Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, Wire Transfer, Mastercard, Visa, Debit Card, Credit Card, Bitcoin Payments, Ethereum Payments
    USD, AUD
  4. 4
    FP Markets

    Ratings
    3.8 / 5
    3.8 / 5
    4 / 5
    3.8 / 5
    4 / 5
    4 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    4 / 5
    4 / 5

    $40
    0.01 Lots
    1:30 (UK), 1:500 (Global)
    ASIC, CySEC, FSA, CMA
    CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Bonds, ETFs, Crypto
    Iress, MT4, MT5, cTrader, TradingView, AutoChartist, TradingCentral
    Neteller, Skrill, Visa, Wire Transfer, FasaPay, Credit Card, Dragonpay, Perfect Money, Mastercard, Debit Card, Sticpay, Bitcoin Payments, Rapid Transfer, Apple Pay, Google Wallet
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, NZD, JPY, TRY, CHF, HKD, SGD
  5. 5
    Admiral Markets
    Forex & CFDs are complex products, not suitable for everyone, and come with the high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

    $100
    0.01 Lots
    1:30 (EU), 1:500 (Global)
    FCA, CySEC, ASIC, JSC, CMA
    Forex, CFDs, indices, shares, commodities, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, bonds, spread betting
    MT4, MT5, TradingCentral
    Neteller, iDeal, Skrill, PayPal, Sofort, Wire Transfer, Mastercard, POLi, Swift, Credit Card, Klarna
    USD, EUR, GBP, SEK, CHF, CZK
  6. 6
    Exinity

    $20 (World), $100 (Trader), $10,000 (Trader Pro)
    0.01 Lots
    1:2000
    FSRA, FCA, FSC, CMA
    Stocks, Stock CFDs, Forex, Commodities, Indices
    MT4, MT5
    Wire Transfer, Credit Card, Mastercard, Visa, Debit Card, Neteller
    USD, AED

Here is a short overview of each broker's pros and cons

  1. IC Markets - IC Markets is a globally recognized forex and CFD broker known for its excellent pricing, comprehensive range of trading instruments, and premium trading technology. Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Australia, the brokerage is regulated by the ASIC, CySEC and FSA, and has attracted more than 180,000 clients from over 200 countries.
  2. Pepperstone - Established in Australia in 2010, Pepperstone is a top-rated forex and CFD broker with over 400,000 clients worldwide. It offers access to 1,300+ instruments on leading platforms MT4, MT5, cTrader and TradingView, maintaining low, transparent fees. Pepperstone is also regulated by trusted authorities like the FCA, ASIC, and CySEC, ensuring a secure environment for day traders at all levels.
  3. Ingot Brokers - Ingot Brokers is a multi-regulated brokerage established in 2006. The broker offers CFD trading opportunities on 1000+ instruments including forex, stocks, indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies. The broker supports the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms and offers both raw spreads and commission-free account options.
  4. FP Markets - Established in 2005 in Australia, FP Markets is an ASIC- and CySEC-regulated broker boasting an extensive suite of tradable assets. Its Standard and Raw accounts cater to day traders at every level, while it packs a punch in the tooling department, from the MetaTrader suite and intuitive TradingView to actionable trading ideas from Trading Central and AutoChartist.
  5. Admiral Markets - Admirals is a multi-regulated broker with an excellent range of leveraged instruments, including forex, stocks, indices, ETFs, commodities, cryptos and more. The broker supports the MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and TradingCentral platforms. With both spread betting and CFDs available and thousands of instruments, this broker provides more flexibility than most rivals.
  6. Exinity - Exinity provides flexible low-cost trading in FX, commodities, indices and equities alongside unique education and support provided by teams located across the world. Now operating in the Middle East, through regulation from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority in Abu Dhabi and the Financial Services Commission of Mauritius, Exinity provides a range of services to traders and investors looking for new opportunities in the financial markets.

CMA Brokers Comparison

CMA Brokers Comparison
Broker Minimum Deposit Markets Platforms Leverage
IC Markets logo
$200 CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Bonds, Futures, Crypto MT4, MT5, cTrader, TradingView, TradingCentral, DupliTrade 1:30 (ASIC & CySEC), 1:500 (FSA), 1:1000 (Global)
Pepperstone logo
$0 CFDs, Forex, Currency Indices, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Crypto, Spread Betting MT4, MT5, cTrader, TradingView, AutoChartist, DupliTrade 1:30 (Retail), 1:500 (Pro)
Ingot Brokers logo
$10 CFDs, Commodities, Stocks, Indices, ETFs, Forex, Cryptocurrencies MT4, MT5 1:500
FP Markets logo
$40 CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Bonds, ETFs, Crypto Iress, MT4, MT5, cTrader, TradingView, AutoChartist, TradingCentral 1:30 (UK), 1:500 (Global)
Admiral Markets logo
$100 Forex, CFDs, indices, shares, commodities, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, bonds, spread betting MT4, MT5, TradingCentral 1:30 (EU), 1:500 (Global)
Exinity logo
$20 (World), $100 (Trader), $10,000 (Trader Pro) Stocks, Stock CFDs, Forex, Commodities, Indices MT4, MT5 1:2000

IC Markets

"IC Markets offers superior pricing, exceptionally fast execution and seamless deposits. The introduction of advanced charting platforms, notably TradingView, and the Raw Trader Plus account, ensures it remains a top choice for intermediate to advanced day traders."

Christian Harris, Reviewer

IC Markets Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsCFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Bonds, Futures, Crypto
RegulatorASIC, CySEC, FSA, CMA
PlatformsMT4, MT5, cTrader, TradingView, TradingCentral, DupliTrade
Minimum Deposit$200
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:30 (ASIC & CySEC), 1:500 (FSA), 1:1000 (Global)
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, NZD, JPY, CHF, HKD, SGD

Pros

  • IC Markets offers fast and dependable 24/5 support based on firsthand experience, particularly when it comes to accounts and funding issues.
  • As a tightly regulated and widely respected broker, IC Markets prioritizes client security and transparency, helping to ensure a reliable trading experience globally.
  • You have access to over 2,250 CFDs across various markets, including forex, commodities, indices, stocks, bonds, and cryptocurrencies, allowing for diversified trading strategies.

Cons

  • Despite four industry-leading third-party platforms, there is no proprietary software or trading app built with new traders in mind.
  • There are fees for certain withdrawal methods, including a $20 wire charge, which can eat into profits, especially for frequent withdrawals.
  • The breadth and depth of tutorials, webinars and educational resources still need work, trailing alternatives like CMC Markets and reducing its suitability for beginners.

Pepperstone

"Pepperstone stands out as a top choice for day trading, offering razor-sharp spreads, ultra-fast execution, and advanced charting platforms for experienced traders. New traders are also welcomed with no minimum deposit, extensive educational resources, and exceptional 24/7 support."

Christian Harris, Reviewer

Pepperstone Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsCFDs, Forex, Currency Indices, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Crypto, Spread Betting
RegulatorFCA, ASIC, CySEC, DFSA, CMA, BaFin, SCB
PlatformsMT4, MT5, cTrader, TradingView, AutoChartist, DupliTrade
Minimum Deposit$0
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:30 (Retail), 1:500 (Pro)
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, NZD, JPY, CHF, HKD, SGD

Pros

  • Pepperstone emerges as a low-cost broker, especially for serious day traders with spreads from 0.0 in the Razor account and rebates of 25%+ through the Active Trader program.
  • Pepperstone boasts impressive execution speeds, averaging around 30ms, facilitating fast order processing and execution that’s ideal for day trading.
  • Award-winning customer support is available via telephone, email or live chat with response times of <5 minutes during testing.

Cons

  • Pepperstone’s demo accounts are active for only 30 days, which may not be not long enough to familiarize yourself with the different platforms and test trading strategies.
  • Pepperstone does not support cTrader Copy, a popular copy trading feature built into the excellent cTrader platform and available at alternatives like IC Markets.
  • There’s no simplified proprietary trading platform, nor are there any social trading features, which could be a disadvantage if you are new to day trading.

Ingot Brokers

"Ingot Brokers is a good choice for day traders looking for a no-frills broker with a wide range of instruments. Experienced traders will appreciate access to the advanced MT5 platform, although beginners may be disappointed in the lack of educational resources."

William Berg, Reviewer

Ingot Brokers Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsCFDs, Commodities, Stocks, Indices, ETFs, Forex, Cryptocurrencies
RegulatorASIC, FSCA, JSC, FSA, CMA
PlatformsMT4, MT5
Minimum Deposit$10
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:500
Account CurrenciesUSD, AUD

Pros

  • Ingot Brokers holds multiple regulatory licenses, including one from the top-tier regulator, ASIC
  • The low $100 minimum deposit and the option to trade with zero commissions will appeal to newer traders
  • Ingot Brokers offers a copy trading service with passive income opportunities for experienced strategy providers

Cons

  • The range of 30+ currency pairs is below the industry average and won’t be sufficient for serious forex traders
  • The broker’s educational resources and market research trail most competitors
  • The ECN account offers fewer assets than the other account types

FP Markets

"FP Markets strikes an ideal balance between affordability and quality for active traders. They’ve managed to keep trading costs low while expanding their investment offering, charting tools, and research features, all while providing excellent support you can rely on for urgent trading queries."

Christian Harris, Reviewer

FP Markets Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsCFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Bonds, ETFs, Crypto
RegulatorASIC, CySEC, FSA, CMA
PlatformsIress, MT4, MT5, cTrader, TradingView, AutoChartist, TradingCentral
Minimum Deposit$40
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:30 (UK), 1:500 (Global)
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, NZD, JPY, TRY, CHF, HKD, SGD

Pros

  • With MetaTrader, cTrader, Iress and more recently TradingView, FP Markets is one of the most accommodating brokers in terms of platform choice.
  • FP Markets offers a superb selection of tradable assets, especially since expanding its suite of commodities and supporting over 10,000 stocks.
  • FP Markets delivers fast and dependable support, available 24/5 with average response times of less than 1 minute during testing.

Cons

  • While pricing in the Raw account is excellent, spreads in the Standard account trail the cheapest brokers with a 1.1-pip average spread on the EUR/USD compared to the 0.8-pip average at IC Markets.
  • Although Traders Hub provides rich research, notably the Daily Report, Technical Report, Market Insights, and Fundamental Analysis, it needs to widen its daily content variety and keep its forex news updated to match category leaders like IG.
  • FP Markets trails the best MetaTrader brokers, despite offering a Trader's Toolbox on MT4, just 130 instruments are available, limiting opportunities for serious traders, especially compared to Pepperstone with its 1,300 assets.

Admiral Markets

"Admirals is a good pick for novice-to-intermediate traders that want a trustworthy, regulated broker with access to a wide range of markets with tight spreads and no commission."

William Berg, Reviewer

Admiral Markets Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsForex, CFDs, indices, shares, commodities, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, bonds, spread betting
RegulatorFCA, CySEC, ASIC, JSC, CMA
PlatformsMT4, MT5, TradingCentral
Minimum Deposit$100
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:30 (EU), 1:500 (Global)
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, SEK, CHF, CZK

Pros

  • Demo account to test the broker before real-money trading
  • Full range of investments including cryptos and spread betting
  • Admirals is a multi-regulated broker with a long list of industry awards and accolades

Cons

  • Monthly inactivity fee
  • US traders not accepted
  • The demo account expires after 30 days

Exinity

"Exinity's competitive ECN pricing, excellent range of forex pairs and high leverage makes this a great choice for dedicated forex day traders."

William Berg, Reviewer

Exinity Quick Facts

Demo AccountNo
InstrumentsStocks, Stock CFDs, Forex, Commodities, Indices
RegulatorFSRA, FCA, FSC, CMA
PlatformsMT4, MT5
Minimum Deposit$20 (World), $100 (Trader), $10,000 (Trader Pro)
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:2000
Account CurrenciesUSD, AED

Pros

  • Leverage up to 1:2000 for traders with an appetite for risk
  • Hold positions swap-free for up to 7 days
  • Very wide range of forex pairs, with 150+ on offer

Cons

  • No cryptocurrency trading available
  • Does not accept traders from the US
  • No bonus schemes

Methodology

To identify the top brokers regulated in Kenya, we:

  • Scoured our directory of approximately 500 brokers to find those who claim to be regulated by the CMA.
  • Put their company credentials through the List of Licensees to verify they were authorized.
  • Ranked them by their rating, combining 100+ data entries with the observations of our testers.

How Can I Check A Broker Is Regulated By The CMA?

Confirming whether a broker is regulated by the CMA is straightforward:

  1. Navigate to the CMA’s List of Licensees.
  2. Expand the drop-down section ‘NON-DEALING ONLINE FOREIGN EXCHANGE BROKER.’
  3. View regulated broker details, including company and trading name, registered address, and license number.

To show you how this works in practice, below are the results of a search I did to check that Pepperstone, a terrific broker for day trading featuring lightening-fast execution and razor-sharp spreads, is authorized to operate in Kenya.

author image
Christian Harris
Author
Kenyan regulator database showing licensed trading brokers
Pepperstone – CMA License

What Rules Must CMA-Regulated Brokers Follow?

Brokers in Kenya must obtain a license from the CMA to operate legally in the country. The licensing process is rigorous and ensures that brokers meet high financial stability, integrity, and competence standards.

It involves a thorough review of the broker’s financial records, operational structure, and business practices. The CMA also conducts background checks on the broker’s key personnel to ensure they have the necessary qualifications and experience.

At the time of writing, the CMA has licensed 10 non-dealing forex brokers to operate in Kenya, with the largest brands including firms like Pepperstone, HF Markets and FP Markets. That said, the List of licensed brokers fluctuates as the CMA grants new licenses and revokes non-compliant ones.

The CMA establishes clear criteria for online brokers seeking a Kenyan license. The fundamental rules and requirements that CMA-regulated brokers must follow encompass financial stability, operational structure, and responsible business practices:

Yet while the CMA provides strong trader protections, especially for Kenyan traders, it’s not yet as robust as other prominent regulators, such as the FCA in the UK or ASIC in Australia.

Its shortcomings centre around its relatively limited resources to enforce rules, sometimes slow and inconsistent penalties, and the country’s less developed financial markets.

author image
Christian Harris
Author

What Powers Does The CMA Have?

The CMA plays a vital role in safeguarding Kenyan traders. They achieve this by recommending that new traders only participate with brokers licensed by the CMA.

The CMA’s regulations extend to Kenyan soil, and some offshore brokers continue to solicit Kenyan investors despite needing a CMA license. While these overseas brokers might be regulated elsewhere, the CMA has advised many times over the years against using them due to the lack of CMA oversight.

The CMA actively monitors and enforces compliance among licensed brokers. In recent years, it has taken several enforcement actions, including imposing fines and penalties on brokers who violate regulatory requirements.

For instance, In October 2018, Kenyan authorities issued a cease and desist order to Pesos Capital Markets Limited. The order alleged that the firm was operating as a fund manager and an online foreign exchange dealer without the necessary licenses required by the Capital Markets Act.

Public notices and investor alerts are regularly issued to inform the public about unlicensed entities and potential scams.

💡
The CMA’s Annual Report for 2022 highlighted that 25 licensed market intermediaries were licensed, 15 inspections were conducted, 10 million KES (Kenyan shillings) in fines were imposed (approximately $100,000), and 200 investor complaints were resolved.

Bottom Line

The CMA is the guardian of Kenya’s capital markets, ensuring their integrity and fostering growth. This includes regulating brokers to promote fair and transparent practices.

The CMA implements a licensing process that only qualified firms can pass. They maintain constant vigilance through ongoing monitoring of licensed brokerages, ensuring adherence to regulations. Additionally, the CMA can take decisive enforcement against any broker violating the established rules.

When choosing a CMA-licensed broker, you benefit from the CMA’s regulations to safeguard Kenyan traders. Trading with an unlicensed broker removes these protections, leaving Kenyan traders with limited avenues to seek compensation or resolve disputes.

Article Sources

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