Saxo Bank exits South Africa FX market, selling to Sasfin and management

Copenhagen based Forex and multi asset broker Saxo Bank is continuing to reshape its operations following a recently approved takeover of the company by China’s Geely Group.

Saxo Bank has been actively selling and jettisoning operations in certain areas (including its home Denmark market), and moving more resources and personnel into China and the Far East.

Along these lines, Saxo Bank announced plans this morning to exit the FX business in South Africa. South Africa bank holding company Sasfin Holdings, Saxo Bank, and the management of Saxo Bank’s South Africa subsidiary Saxo Capital Markets South Africa (SCMSA) made a joint announcement that Sasfin and the management of SCMSA have agreed to acquire SCMSA from Saxo Bank, subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions precedent.

Sasfin will hold an indirect minority stake in SCMSA, while the management team, led by CEO Richard North, will be majority holders of the spun-off business.

Following the implementation of the deal, the parties will continue to collaborate, leveraging Saxo Bank’s unique technology and global market access. Clients of SCMSA will therefore continue to have access to the same broad product range and platforms as they are used to.

Sasfin is a diversified business and wealth banking group, working with various global custodians and trading platforms to manage global investment portfolios for private and institutional investors.

The parties stated that the combination of Sasfin, Saxo Bank and SCMSA provides an opportunity to grow SCMSA further through the extraction of the meaningful synergies that exist between all the parties. In addition, an investment into SCMSA will lead to the facilitation of broader trade within the South African financial markets.

Saxo Bank said the current clients of SCMSA will see no change in their legal and contractual basis with Saxo Bank and SCMSA, providing continuity of business. As Saxo Bank drives its open architecture strategy, current and potential clients will see an enhanced user experience for the local financial markets incorporating regulatory reporting and market data management.

According to Michael Sassoon, CEO of Sasfin, SCMSA enables investors to access global markets seamlessly:

Sasfin has been working with Saxo Bank for many years. This deal further strengthens our association. Saxo Bank makes investing and trading globally accessible to the everyday investor through simple, cost-effective and user-friendly tools. These tools are being used by some of the most substantial institutions in South Africa to solve for their client needs.

Kim Fournais, CEO of Saxo Bank commented:

The sale is part of our strategy to go deep in certain key markets ourselves and be present in other markets through strong partnerships. We have worked with Sasfin for many years and we are confident that clients will continue to experience the same well-known service and expertise. Through the relationship, clients will continue to benefit from our innovation and have access to the same broad product range and platforms as they are used. By leveraging our technology and Sasfin’s strong local presence we create a true win-win.

According to Richard North, Head of SCMSA, the transaction represents a milestone in areas of growth and distribution, as the business seeks to gain further critical mass in the local market.

Sasfin is a very strong partner with a rich legacy in the local South African financial services sector and investing in Fintech businesses. We look forward to investing heavily in local infrastructure and development. We are equally excited about Sasfin’s recent empowerment transaction with WIPHOLD. Through WIPHOLD’s 25,1% shareholding, Sasfin is one of the most empowered banking groups in South Africa in terms of ownership.

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Saxo Bank exits South Africa FX market, selling to Sasfin and management


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