Exclusive: FX broker Evest sets up shop in South Africa

abdelaziz Fathi

CySEC-regulated brokerage firm, Evest is seeking a license from the South Africa’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) after it has incorporated its new subsidiary.

One source, who requested anonymity, told FinanceFeeds the SA’s financial watchdog is set to grant its regulatory consent and that they are “in the final to process to get South African license.”

Evest plans to leverage the new license to expand its brokerage business in Africa, and also to meet its growth targets for Latin America, the source added, noting that the SA approval allows them to target several jurisdictions.

Launched back in 2020, Middle East FX veteran Ali Hassan led Evest.com efforts to obtain a CySEC CIF license for a new retail brokerage firm. The company has secured decent funding from a big investor and other “established entrepreneurs” to kick off its operations. In total, it raised $7 million in a A funding round led by one investor, who does not want to reveal his identity at the moment.

Evest is also seeking additional licenses from other ‘top-tier’ regulators, said the sources, including the financial watchdog of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). The entire process of the firm’s venture into the UAE territory began a while before obtaining the Cypriot license, but the application is still pending regulatory approvals.

Prior to Evest, Ali was one of the longest-serving executives at Q8Trade and spent three years there since he originally joined Q8 Securities’ subsidiary in 2017.

Ali spent the bulk of his career at e-Toro, based out of Cyprus. He was its Arabic regional manager from 2007 to 2017, rising through the ranks to be responsible for developing sales and marketing strategies at the Israel-based firm.

Moreover, Ali is one of the influential speakers to represent blockchain and cryptocurrency businesses in the Arab world. Earlier in his career, he worked for Israel’s financial group and the largest lender, Bank Hapoalim.

Evest is not the first FX broker to be granted formal permission to operate in South Africa. The country has become a magnet hub for forex companies and executives as many see it as a friendly regulatory environment. In July alone, ETX Capital, XTB and Eurotrade have secured their respective licenses in South Africa.

The country’s resource-rich economy is heavily reliant on financial services and its appeal as a business hub only increases as there are almost no competing financial centers in the south part of the black continent.

South Africa enjoys a strong and well-organized financial market and therefore has become a popular destination for brokers looking to expand. It is one of the world’s top ten capital markets and boasts thousands of investors. The country itself is a diverse market that is largely devoid of the market saturation seen in other jurisdictions such as Europe.

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