Trading NSE equities,bonds,Unit Trusts on Abacus Online Platform,Share thoughts and Experiences

Just wanted to know if anyone has tried out practise trading and actual trading of NSE shares(equities),Bonds,Unit Trusts e.t.c on the Abacus Platform.Abacus(www.abacus.co.ke) is a local startup that is a licensed NSE data vendor and partners with Genghis Capital and Chase Bank as brokerage firms to facilitate trading of actual shares on the NSE…As you all know,the NSE is all digital now,stocks are traded electronically and there are a number of data vendors who interact/link with the NSE.My experience so far has been,its easy to deposit,buy,sell and withdraw from the Abacus platform,the UI/UX for the android and web app look and work great and portfolios update in realtime(for actual trades).They also offer practise trading to free basic accounts…They monetize via a subscription model(premium & platinum),customer services are also improved…Kindly share your thoughts and experiences if you have interacted with them

I’ll check them out, do they need you to have a CDS account?

Nah,but they require you to fill out your profile info and give them some confidential data which they autodraft a contract between you and them if you intend to start trading with real money on their platform.

Was about to deposit money and I started wondering …

I’m trying to find out if they are regulated by the CMA and their name doesn’t show up in the list of Licensees as at April 2017.

Called them and they say they are an agent of Genghis Capital (Chase Bank Sibling). Been scouring through Gengis Capital’s website and there is no mention of them.

Also checked the NSE website for licensed NSE data vendors and can’t find anything.

Without a CDS account, your money is solely with them. There’s nothing in their TOS mentioning – if they somehow had to close shop or be under receivership – how customer funds would be handled.

My opinion, if you’re taking someone’s money in the name of investing, you should be regulated. Using someone else’s name won’t cut it, when shit hits the ceiling

Cough, Chase Bank,

What happens to depositors funds?

Ola,

I started and run Abacus. I started with one goal - to allow investors such as yourself move their money across different investments, and across different countries as simply and easily as possible.

You’ve raised some pretty good questions and valid concerns.

  1. We are actually an agent, not just of Genghis, but of Sanlam, Old Mutual, Britam + others. We operate under the guidelines provided by the CMA and the CBK for agency arrangements. Agents are not listed on the CMA licensees nor by most of their principal companies, but their agreements are usually vetted by the CMA.

  2. Genghis Capital is owned by Pamoja Capital, and was actually never owned by Chase Bank. They shared directors, but just in the same way MJ sitting on the both KQ and Safaricom boards did not make them sister companies, they were independent companies.

  3. Genghis also has the largest agent network of all investment bank/brokers in KE, but do not list them on the site, hence why you couldn’t find us there. Give them a ring, and they will set your mind at ease. You can also ping the NSE, Sanlam, Old Mutual if it’ll help.

  4. You can open a CDSC account in two ways; as a direct beneficiary (which is what most people know), or as a nominee account. The CDS accounts we use are opened by a licenced and regulated custodian, in this case, Chase Bank.

This custodial model is what allows us to offer multiple asset classes under one account and, soon across multiple geographies. It’s also very common in the US and UK markets for online brokers, and for institutional money (both local and international). Check the shareholding of your favourite companies, and you’ll see the some of the largest shareholders are often “XXXXX Nominees A/C XXXX”

Your assets don’t actually sit at the bank, though. Your shares are in the nominee accounts at CDSC, your money market/equity/bond funds at the respective fund managers e.g. Sanlam or OM/UAP, your bills and bonds at the Central Bnk’s CDS, and your uninvested cash in a money market fund. The custodian simply processes your order requests and keeps records of who owns what. Should we cease to exist, they have records. Should they cease to exist, your money and assets aren’t there, and we have the records.

We also invest a lot in securing our clients. We’ve actually had, and continue to have, discussions with the CMA. We have a former CMA regulatory affairs official and current Director of Centum Capital as the chair of our board, and our directors serve on committees of the NSE, and on boards of listed companies such as Kengen, beefing up our regulatory side.

We are building a Pan-African investment business on web and mobile tech, and like Mpesa in 07, a lot of what we do seems unusual, but is actually common elsewhere.

Hope I’ve answered your Q’s. As always, the Abacus team is available on the app to answer any other questions.

Happy investing!

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