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Companies

Brokers Apex, AIB Capital eye bigger deals with merger

AIB chief executive Paul Mwai
AIB chief executive Paul Mwai during a 2015 event. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA  

Brokerage houses Apex Africa Capital and AIB Capital have entered into an agreement to merge operations, the two firms announced in a statement on Thursday.

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.

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.

The deal will see the two firms merge stockbrokerage, bond trading, research and corporate finance businesses under a joint venture company.

“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 ApexAfrica Capital executive director Louis Lallia.

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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.

“We are excited for the possibility to combine the two businesses which will also create enhanced capacity,” AIB Capital chief executive Paul Mwai said.

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

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