HF Markets Review 2023

HotForex or HF Markets is a forex and CFD broker regulated by FSCA in South Africa. They offer ZAR Base Currency account, local funding & withdrawals via Bank Transfers, moderate spreads. See how the compare against other brokers.

Editor

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Minimum Deposit
R70
Typical EUR/USD Spread
1.3 pips
Regulation(s)
FSCA, FCA, CySEC

HF Markets, Previously known as HotForex, is an FSCA-regulated financial services provider that offers forex and CFD trading services in South Africa. It allows ZAR deposits and withdrawals via bank transfer and several other methods. The account types can be opened with ZAR as the base currency.

HF Markets claims to have opened more than 2.5 million live trading accounts across the globe. It has been in the forex and CFD trading business for more than 10 years. It is one of the most reputed forex brokers in the world due to multiple top-tier regulatory licenses.

HF Markets has a local office in Sandton Johannesburg, South Africa, and also provides local phone support to South African clients. There are multiple account types to facilitate different types of traders.

HF Markets South Africa Pros

  • HF Markets is regulated and authorized by FSCA in South Africa
  • No non-trading charges exist in the Standard account type
  • Free deposits and withdrawals through multiple methods
  • Minimum deposit as low as $5
  • Local phone number available for customer support apart from live chat and email support
  • Multiple account types available
  • Multiple Trading Platforms Supported
  • HF Markets is an STP/ECN broker
  • 1200+ trading instruments available from multiple asset classes
  • The bonus offerings at HF Markets is excellent

HF Markets South Africa Cons

  • ZAR is not available as the base currency of the account
  • The support services are not available on the weekends
  • The spreads with the Classic account is slightly higher than many forex and CFD brokers

Read our detailed review of HotForex exclusively for South African clients before opening an account. We have honestly reviewed all the advantages and shortcomings of choosing HF Markets to trade forex and CFD in SA.

The review can also assist you in choosing the right account type for yourself.

HF Markets South Africa Summary

Broker Name HF Markets Limited
Website www.hfm.co.za
Regulation FSCA, FCA, CySEC, FSA & DFSA
Year of Establishment 2010
Minimum Deposit R70
Maximum Leverage 1:1000
Trading Platforms MT4 & MT5
Trading Instruments Forex, CFDs on Metals, Energy, Indices, Shares, Commodities.


Is HF Markets Legit?

The safety of traders greatly relies on the regulatory licenses held by the broker. Forex and CFD trading in South Africa is legal but traders must ensure that the chosen broker is regulated by FSCA.

There are several forex trading service providers that are not regulated by FSCA or any other regulatory authority. Such brokers are more likely to be fake and must be avoided.

HotForex Group is well regulated with following Regulations:

  1. Financial Sector Conduct Authority of South Africa (FSCA): HotForex is regulated by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority of South Africa under FSP number 46632 with the name HF Markets SA (PTY) Ltd. FSCA, previously known as Financial Services Board (FSB) is an independent financial regulator that overlooks the activities of financial service providers in South Africa. It is a top-tier regulatory authority that makes the regulated entity safe for traders and investors.
  2. HotForex FSCA Regulation

  3. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA): HF Markets is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the United Kingdom by the name HF Markets (UK) Ltd under reference number 801701. FCA is also a top-tier regulatory authority that is governed by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 of the UK.
  4. HotForex FCA Regulation

  5. FSA & DFSA: Apart from these top-tier regulators, HotForex is also regulated by the FSA of Seychelles (8419176-1) and DFSA of Dubai (F004885) as a financial service provider. It is registered as an international business company in St Vincent and Grenadines with registration number 22747 IBC 2015.

The multiple top-tier regulatory licenses including FSCA of South Africa makes HF Markets safe for South African traders.

HF Markets was founded in 2010, so it is a relatively old broker. And due to multiple top-tier regulations, the third-party risk of choosing HF for trading is very low.

HotForex Trading Fees

The overall cost incurred to traders at HF Markets is decent when compared with other regulated brokers in South Africa.

We have separately reviewed and compared every component of fees at HotForex that are incurred to traders.

  1. Competitive Spread: Spreads are the basic component of fees that are incurred to traders while trading forex and CFDs through any of the platforms. It is basically the difference between the buy (bid) price and the sell (ask) price.

    The spreads at HF Markets start from 1 pip but depend on the account type chosen by the trader. HotForex charge variable spread on all the instruments that can change according to the liquidity in the market and trade timings.

    HotForex Spread Comparison

    Trading Instrument Average Spread in Quote Currency Per Unit (Micro)
    EUR/USD 1.3
    GBP/USD 1.7
    Gold/USD 0.25
    US Crude Oil 0.09
    US Tech 100 2.03
    BTC/USD 26

    The spreads with commission-free account types at HF Markets start from 1 pip while the same with commission-based account types start from 0 pip. The average typical spread with the Micro, Premium, Auto, and Copy account for EUR/USD is 1.2 pips. The average spread for EUR/USD with the Zero spread account is 0.1 pips.

  2. Moderate Commissions with Zero Account: The Zero Spread account type at HotForex is a commission-based account where the spreads are very low. It incurs a commission of $3 for each side and $6 for a round trade of a standard lot. For the ZAR-based account, the commission for round trade is 93.23 ZAR.

    Apart from this, no other additional commission is charged by HF Markets. The account opening is free and no commission is charged for deposits and withdrawals from the broker’s end.

  3. Moderate Overnight (Swap) Fees: This is the fee that is incurred to traders when a position is kept open overnight. The swap fees or overnight opening fees are different for each instrument. Swap fees for long positions and short positions are also different. The details of the swap fees can be checked on the HF Markets website and app and can also be calculated with the swap calculator feature at HF Markets. The overnight charges at HF Markets are lower than XM but are higher than Exness.
  4. Inactivity Charges: This is the fee that is incurred when no trades are executed for a prolonged period. It is applicable only when the account balance is more than 0 and no trades are executed for more than 6 months.

    HotForex Inactivity Fees

    For inactivity of 6 months to 1 year, HF Markets will charge a monthly dormant fee of $5 or 70 ZAR for each consecutive month of inactivity. For 1 year to 2 years of inactivity, this monthly fee will be $10 or 140 ZAR equivalent to the base account currency. For 2 to 3 years, inactivity fees will be $20 or 280 ZAR. For more than 3 years of inactivity, the monthly dormant fees will keep increasing by $10 or 140 ZAR until the account balance reaches 0.

Overall, the fees incurred at HotForex are lower than some of the regulated brokers but also higher than several others. The spreads are competitive while the commission and swap fees are decent when compared with other brokers.

Many regulated forex brokers do not charge inactivity fees that are much higher at HF Markets. Although this will only be charged if no trades are executed for 6 consecutive months.

HF Markets Account Types

HF Markets offers multiple account types to suffice multiple types of traders in South Africa. Traders can choose from 6 different account types at HF Markets. The account types are named Micro, Premium, Zero Spread, Auto, PAMM, and HF Copy. Apart from PAMM and HF Copy accounts, all 4 account types can be opened with ZAR as base currency if the client is residing in South Africa. Our experience with all the available account types has been reviewed below.

  1. Micro Account: This is the basic account type at HF Markets that can be opened with the lowest minimum deposit of $5 or 70 ZAR. It is a commission-free account type that allows trading on all the available instruments at HotForex. The max leverage with this account is 1:1000 and 150 orders can be opened simultaneously with this account type. Up to 7 standards, lots can be traded in a single position.

    The Micro account gives access to MT4, MT5, web trader, and mobile trading. According to our review, this is the ideal account type for beginners and small-volume traders due to the low minimum deposit, no commission, and decent spreads.

  2. Premium: This is also a commission-free account type that can be opened with ZAR as the base currency. The minimum deposit requirement with this account type is $100 or 1500 ZAR. The maximum leverage is 1:500 with this account and 60 standard lots can be traded in a single position.

    The availability of instruments and trading platforms is similar to the Micro account type. This account is ideal for those who wish to trade high volume without any commission.

  3. Zero Spread: As the name suggests, the spreads with this account type start from 0 pip. This comes at the cost of $6 commission for a round trade of a standard lot. The minimum deposit requirement with this account is $200. All the other features are the same as the Premium account type.

    Trading with a very low spread at the expense of a fixed commission is beneficial when the trade volume is high. This account is ideal for experienced and high-volume traders.

  4. HFCOPY: This is a copy trading account type at HotForex in which any trader can become the strategy provider and can follow any of the strategy providers.

    The minimum deposit for a follower is $100 and for strategy, the provider is $300. There is no added commission from the brokers’ end but strategy providers can set their performance fee independently from 0 to 50% of the profits.

How to Open an Account at HF Markets?

Step 1) Enter the basic details: To open an account at HF Markets, traders can visit the official website of HF Markets or can also download the mobile application.

The first step is to enter the basic details like phone number, name, date of birth, country of residence, and email address. After entering these basic details, an activation link will be sent to your provided email. This link can be followed to open any of the account types at HF Markets. This link will redirect you to the MyHF area where a demo account can be opened without providing bank details and submitting documents.

Step 2) Enter Bank details & Complete KYC: To open a live account, the next step is to enter bank details and complete the KYC process by submitting proof of address and identity. The account type and base currency of the account needs to be chosen by the client. After making a deposit, the trading platforms can be downloaded from the MyHF area and trade orders can be executed.

Step 3) Select Account & Make a deposit: Availability of different account types allows clients to choose the most suitable one. Multiple account types can be opened with ZAR as base currency which is an added advantage for South African traders. According to our review, the flexibility of choosing a suitable account type makes HotForex better than many other regulated forex brokers in the section of account types.

HF Markets Demo Account Review

The demo account can be very useful for beginners as well as existing traders. Beginners can learn about the forex and CFD market, get familiar with trading tools and terminologies, and can gain experience in the market before depositing real money. Existing traders can test their strategies or build a new strategy with the help of a demo account.

HF Markets demo account

The demo account at HF Markets can be opened within a minute by providing basic details like name, phone number, and email address. An activation link will be sent to the mail which will redirect to the personal area of HF Markets. Clients can choose the type of demo account they wish to open. Clients can also enter a contest where top performers are rewarded without depositing any amount.

HF Markets demo account

The demo account can be opened with MT4, MT5, and MyHF trading platforms. for each platform chosen, the account can be configured with a selection of base currency between USD, EUR, and GBP. Clients can choose the maximum leverage on the demo account and start with any amount they wish.

HF Markets demo account

According to our analysis, the demo accounts at HF Markets are very useful. Demo accounts can be configured differently and traders can gain experience with each account type and trading platform before opening live accounts with real currency.

HF Markets Deposits and Withdrawals

HotForex Funds Deposit Methods

South African clients can deposit and withdraw from HF Markets through bank transfer, credit/debit cards, and Skrill e-wallet. The most convenient and feasible method to transact is the local bank transfer. The deposits and withdrawals can be done anytime during the business days (24/5).

HotForex Funds Withdrawal Methods

  1. Bank Transfer: Deposits and withdrawals in South Africa can be done through local bank transfers with no added commission. For the wire transfers, all the commissions are covered by HF Markets if the deposit amount is more than $100 or equivalent. The local bank transfer is entirely free and HF Markets will cover any expense if incurred while transacting.

    The minimum deposit amount with the local bank transfer is 100R and the maximum limit is $10,000 equivalent. The minimum withdrawal limit through bank transfer is 70R or $10 with no commission.

    The deposits made through local bank transfer will reflect in the account balance within 10 minutes while withdrawals can take up to 2 working days to get processed. The wire transfer funding, as well as withdrawal, will take 2 to 10 business days to reflect in the account balance.

  2. Credit/Debit Cards: Deposits and withdrawals can also be done through Mastercard and VISA cards at HotForex in South Africa. The minimum amount is $5 equivalent. Time taken for deposit is 10 minutes while the same for withdrawal is 2 to 10 business days depending on the correspondent bank.
  3. Skrill E-Wallet: South African clients can also transact through Skrill where deposits, as well as withdrawals, are reflected within 10 minutes. The minimum amount for deposit and withdrawal is $5 equivalent through this method. For accounts with ZAR as the base currency, the USD deposits will be automatically converted to ZAR according to the prevailing conversion rate.

The free-of-cost local bank transfer in ZAR is highly advantageous for South African clients. There is no commission involved and HF Markets covers all the costs incurred during the transaction of funds via local bank transfer. According to our review, this is the most convenient method to deposit and withdraw at HF Markets in South Africa.

HF Markets Trading Platforms

Hotforex allows trading on all the available instruments through MetaTrader trading platforms and the HFM app. We have separately reviewed the available trading platforms at HF Markets in South Africa.

Web Trading Platforms

MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 are the available web trading platform at HF Markets in South Africa. Both these platforms can be customised on any web browser. These are available in multiple languages and support market, limit, and stop loss orders. Trailing stop loss orders are not available on the web trading platform.

HotForex Web MT4

MT4 and MT5 web trading platforms have limited features compared to the desktop version. However, traders who wish to link their accounts with online tools through web browsers prefer trading with MT4 and MT5 web trading platforms. MT4 is ideal for beginners while MT5 is more suitable for advanced traders.

Mobile Trading Platforms

MT4 and MT5 are also available for mobile devices at HF Markets. Additionally, HF Markets also offers its proprietary trading application for Android and iOS devices called as HFM app.

MT4 mobile platform

MT4 and MT5 mobile trading platforms are quite popular among forex traders globally. However, the mobile version of these platforms only offers limited features and accessibility to charts and indicators.

The HFM app has a much better interface compared to MT4 and MT5 applications. Traders can get real-time news and market updates through the HFM app. It has various charting tools and indicators. HF Markets also offers customer support services on weekdays 24/5 through the HFM app.
HFM app

Desktop Trading Platform

MT4 and MT5 are the available choices for desktop trading platforms. These platforms can be downloaded on Windows and macOS devices and accessed through one-step login. These are available in 21 languages.

MT4 trading platform

MT4 offers 9 timeframes and 30 indicators and has a single-threaded strategy tester. MT5 is an upgraded version of MT4 and offers 21 timeframes and 37 indicators with a multi-threaded strategy tester. MT4 was introduced in 2005 by MetaQoutes Software while MT5 was launched in 2010 by the same firm.

MT5 trading platform

At the time of this review, no other trading platforms are available at HotForex in South Africa.

HF Markets Available Instruments

All the financial instruments offered by HF Markets are derivative CFD instruments. This means there is no physical buying and selling of the assets but only the price differences are speculated to book profits and losses.

Following the financial instruments that can be traded at HotForex in South Africa.

Asset Class Number of Instruments (CFDs) Max Leverage
Forex Pairs 53 1:1000
Metals 6 1:200
Energy 4 1:66
Indices 11 Spot, 12 Futures 1:200
Shares 71 1:14
Commodities 5 1:66
Cryptocurrency 19 1:10
Bonds 3 1:50
Stocks (DMA) 944 1:5
ETFs 34 1:5

Compared to other regulated CFD brokers in South Africa, HF Markets offers a large number of trading instruments. Variety in the availability of instruments provides more opportunities to traders in various capital markets.

HF Markets Customer Support & Contact

The customer support service is excellent as clients can reach out to support executives through multiple methods. To test the diligence of executives and the quality of support for South African clients, we raised multiple queries through different methods.

  1. Live Chat: The live chat support is decent when compared with other regulated brokers as the waiting time ranges from 1 min to 10 min on working days. The response was resourceful and the support executives are user-friendly but the response time is slightly higher on average.
  2. HotForex Live Chat Support

  3. E-mail Support: Clients can raise their queries through email support at [email protected] We raised multiple queries at different times of the day and received a useful reply in 2-6 hours.
  4. Phone Support: HotForex offers local phone support for South African clients. The support executives can be reached out through local numbers +27-10-443-9924 and 080-099-7666. They also have a global support number +44-2030978574.
  5. HotForex Contact Information

Overall, the customer support service through the live chat window and e-mail is decent. The availability of local phone numbers for customer support is advantageous for local clients in South Africa.

HF Markets Bonus

At the time of this review, HF Markets has attractive bonus offerings for South African clients. We found 4 bonus offerings that can be grabbed by any South African client. Following are the details and conditions of each bonus offer.

HotForex Bonus

  1. 50% Welcome Bonus: This bonus is available to the clients making first deposits. This is only available to deposits of more than 700 ZAR or 50 USD. The maximum welcome bonus amount that can be claimed is 1000 USD or 14,000 ZAR. This bonus amount cannot be used if leverage is more than 1:500. The amount added through the bonus cannot be withdrawn and will be deducted proportionately if a withdrawal is made.
  2. 100% SuperCharged Bonus: This bonus is exclusively available with the Premium account only in which each deposit gets doubled or increases by 100%. The minimum deposit amount to claim this bonus is 250 USD or 3200 ZAR. The maximum bonus that can be claimed is 50,000 USD or 600,000 ZAR. The added bonus amount will be removed from the account balance when withdrawals are made.
  3. 30% Rescue Bonus: This bonus is applicable to the deposits made over 50 USD or 700 ZAR. The maximum bonus amount is 7,000 USD or 90,000 ZAR per client. The bonus amount can be used in every manner but cannot be withdrawn.
  4. 100% Credit Bonus: This bonus is applicable to South African clients with a minimum deposit of 100 USD or 1400 ZAR with the Micro and Premium accounts. An e-mail needs to be sent to [email protected] requesting the bonus of 100%. The maximum bonus amount is 30,000 USD or 400,000 ZAR.

Compared with other regulated CFD brokers in South Africa, the bonus offerings are much more lucrative and beneficial for South African clients.

Do we Recommed HF Markets?

Yes, HF Markets is an FSCA-regulated forex and CFD broker in South Africa that uses a 100% STP method for trade execution. They offer ZAR as the base currency of the account with free deposits and withdrawals through local banks in South Africa. The spreads are slightly higher than average but HF Markets is a safe and reliable broker to trade forex and CFDs in South Africa.

HF Markets FAQs

Is HotForex a Market Maker?

No, HotForex is a 100% Straight Through Processing (STP) Broker that follows the market execution policy with No Dealing Desk (NDD). It is not a market maker as it does not take the other side of the trade and does not participate in the client’s trades.

What is the Minimum Deposit at HotForex in ZAR?

The minimum deposit at HotForex is R70 in ZAR. The deposits can be made through a local bank transfer in South Africa to ZAR based trading account at HotForex.

Where is HF Markets based?

HF Markets has is Headquarters in Cyprus. However, it also has a local office in Johannesburg, South Africa at Katherine & West, Suite 18 Second floor, 114 West Street, Sandton, Johannesburg 2031

Is HotForex good for beginners?

Yes, HotForex or HF Markets is regulated by FSCA in South Africa, offers good support services and has a very low minimum deposit requirement. HotForex is one of the best forex brokers in South Africa for beginners. However, beginners should always start with demo accounts.

Which is better XM or HotForex?

HotForex is the better alternative between HotForex and XM as HotForex or HF Markets is regulated by FSCA while XM is not regulated by FSCA and hence less safe. The minimum deposit, trading platforms, and customer support services are nearly similar but the spreads at XM are slightly lower than that at HotForex.

How Long Does it Take to Withdraw Funds From HotForex?

The withdrawals from HotForex through local bank transfers in South Africa can take up to 2 business days to reflect in the bank account.

Does HotForex Have NASDAQ?

Yes, The CFD on NASDAQ Indices like USA100 can be traded by opening an account at HotForex in South Africa.

  1. 1.3 pips Typical Spread for EUR/USD with Premium Account
  2. FSCA Regulated Forex Broker
  3. Has ZAR Base Currency Accounts
HF Markets is #1 Forex Broker in South Africa 77.29% of retail investors accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. Visit Broker