The Kenyan financial market regulator, Capital Markets Authority (CMA), has cautioned investors in the country from investing in unregulated products and services. Investors were also warned against investing with firms and entities that were not licensed or approved.
The regulator shed light on illegal financial entities offering services that put investors at risk of losing their money. The CMA Chief Executive, Wyckliffe Shamiah, urged investors to conduct due diligence and only seek investment products from licensed and approved entities that offer regulated financial products.
Cytonn Investment Group
The regulator noticed much enquiry about the licensing status of Cytonn Investment Group, a financial company offering a wide range of financial products.
The regulator stated that “the Authority confirms that Cytonn Investments is not a licensed and approved entity.” Shamiah further stated that “investors who are affected by investing in unregulated products should report to the Capital Markets Fraud Investigation Unit (CMFIU).”
The CMFIU is the police unit linked to the authority. According to the regulator, the CMFIU investigated the violations committed by Cytonn High Yield Solutions (CHYS). According to the regulator, they had warned investors about investing with the group back on April 20, 2021.
Cytonn Asset Management Limited is only licensed to offer services as a fund manager for various funds, including Cytonn Money Market Fund, Cytonn Balanced Fund, Cytonn Equity Fund, Cytonn Africa Financial Services Fund, Cytonn Money Market Fund and Cytonn High Yield Fund. The CMA stated that it had not received any official complaints regarding these regulated products.
The regulator further advised investors to go to its websites to find the list of licensed entities in the country. It also advised the public to come forward with any reports of unlicensed entities offering financial services and report to the Capital Markets Fraud Investigation Unit.
The Kenyan financial space has grown since the onset of the pandemic. This has created the need for a new regulatory framework that will monitor sprouting financial products, among them online forex and CFD trading. The new regulations have boosted the adoption of retail forex products in Kenya, where this market has grown by 80% to reach more than 90,000 forex traders.
In 2021, the African continent also reported an increase in demand for forex and CFD products. To meet the demand, leading global CFD brokers sought licensing and regulations from the CMA and the FSCA, the South African financial market regulator.