Brokerage firms to merge operations eyeing enhanced capacity

KENYA – Brokerage houses Apex Africa Capital and AIB Capital have entered into an agreement that will see their stock brokerage, bond trading, research and corporate finance businesses merged.

The deal, fronted by Mauritian-owned financial services, AXYS Group, is subject to regulatory approvals from the Capital Markets Authority and Competition Authority of Kenya.

ApexAfrica Capital Executive Director Louis Lallia said both firms would continue to operate independently until regulators approve the merger.

AXYS Group, which expanded into Kenya by acquiring ApexAfrica Capital in 2015, is keen on controlling a larger share of trading and corporate advisory deals on the Nairobi bourse, which is largely driven by foreign investors.

“We are delighted at the prospect of joining forces with AIB as a second step of our development and enhance our local presence in Kenya. Both entities will continue to operate independently until the regulators approve the merge,” said Louis Lallia.

AIB Capital last year launched an online stock trading platform, dubbed DigiTrader, enabling retail investors to remotely buy and sell shares without having to visit broker’s premises, facilitated by mobile money platforms.

AIB Capital Chief Executive Paul Mwai said merger of the two businesses would create enhanced capacity through capital consolidation.

“We are excited for the possibility to combine the two businesses; which will also create enhanced capacity through capital consolidation allowing it to create wider service solutions for clients; who will also benefit from strong relationship management and customer service excellence,” Mwai said.

The statement said that both boards firmly believe that the merged entity “will be strongly placed to play a bigger and more significant role in the financial sector of Kenya, the region and beyond” and added that the new entity would be a leader in the digital front.

“On the digital front, the combined entity will remain a clear leader in innovation, through established brands such as AIB DigiTrader, the first trading platform in Kenya to fully automate the trading process,” said the statement.

“The entity will see sustained investment in networks and disruptive future technologies enhancing the range and quality of products and service offerings in the market; offering greater financial inclusion and convenience to customers.”

Apex specialises in equity trading and research, while AIB concentrates in stockbrokerage, bond trading, corporate finance advisory and research.

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