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Company Identifiers - l ISD Library


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									                      ISD Library
Company Identifiers

This guide describes the various systems used to identify companies. It describes where specific
codes can be used in Library databases, and how to match different coding systems.

Section A: Identifiers for Financial Instruments
Section B: Company Registration Numbers
Section C: Screening by Identifiers
Section D: Hints on using identifiers in particular products

Section A: Identifiers for Financial Instruments

There is a global numbering system administered by the ANNA Service Bureau, on behalf of the
national numbering agencies. ANNA is the Association of National Numbering Agencies and is run
by Standard & Poors and Telekurs.

The identifier from ANNA is the ISIN (International Securities Identification Number) and this is the
only ISO-certified (ISO 6166) securities identifier for cross-border transactions. The purpose of
ISINs is to facilitate the industry’s moves towards straight-through processing (STP). The database
contains over 2 million ISIN numbers representing items from over 180 countries. ISINs are applied
to equities, bonds, commercial paper and warrants.

The ISIN is derived from identifiers controlled by national organisations like stock exchanges. The
ISIN is made up of three parts, a 2-letter country code, a 9-character alpha-numeric national
security identifying number (NSIN) and a single character check digit. The country code is the ISO
3166-1 2-character code for the country of issue. NSINs are described below. ISIN check digits are
based on the “Modulus 10 Double Add Double” technique.


NSINs are produced by national securities organisations.

 In the UK the London Stock Exchange (LSE) produces SEDOL (Stock Exchange Daily Official List)
codes for financial instruments including equities, unit trusts, OEICs etc. The SEDOL code is a
unique 7-character string of 6 alpha-numeric characters with a trailing check digit. The LSE
changed the structure of the code in January 2004 because codes based on the previous 7 digit
numeric string were reaching capacity. SEDOLs are converted into ISINs by padding out with 2
leading zeros, adding the Market Identifier Code (MIC) at the front and the ISIN check digit at the
Because of problems with the ISIN system, SEDOLs have not been superseded. What is being
investigated is how SEDOLs and ISINs can specify a trade on a particular exchange.

In the USA, Standard & Poors issues the CUSIP number on behalf of the Committee on Uniform
Securities Identification Procedures. The CUSIP code is a numeric string of eight characters
ending with an additional check digit. They can be converted into ISINs by preceding the CUSIP
with the appropriate US or CA country code and adding the final check digit.

Other examples of national coding systems are Sicovam (used in France), SICC (Japan) and SVM
(Belgium). Reuters has its own system called RIC (Reuters Identification Code).

Examples of ISINs and NSINs

                     UK Company               US Company               European Company
                     Next                     Apple                    KPN
ISIN                 GB0032089863             US0378331005             NL0000009082
SEDOL                3208986                  2046251                  5956078
CUSIP                N/A                      037833100                780641205

Other Stock Symbols

Many stock exchanges have developed their own systems of stock symbols, the most well-known
of which is the “ticker” applied to US stocks. In contrast to ISINs the ticker symbol shows the
exchange on which the stock is being traded. By interpreting the symbol, the stock and market can
be determined.

In the US, stocks on the NYSE, AMEX and NASDAQ all have their own tickers. NYSE tickers are 1-
3 characters, AMEX are 2-3, and NASDAQ 4-5. These differences in string length apply to the
underlying company, not to the stock itself. So there are special meanings to the characters which
appear after the full stop (.) in the NYSE ticker and to the 5th character in the NASDAQ ticker. (See
the Wikipedia article on Ticker symbols for a full list).

The SEC also has its own system of identification called the CIK or Central Index Key, which is
used to specify corporations or individual people.

CUSIP also issues a number for non-US and non-Canadian companies. This is called the CIN, or
CUSIP International Number. It is 9 digits long, made up of the first character signifying the country
of issue, 5 characters representing the issuer, 2 characters the security, and a final check digit.
Some country codes are G – Great Britain, D – Germany, F – France, E –Spain and J-Japan.

In the UK, prior to 1996 stock codes were called EPICs (Exchange Price Information Computer).
EPICS were renamed TIDMs (Tradable Instrument Display Mnemonics) following the introduction of
a new trading platform. However, the earlier term remains in use.

In Europe, there is a clearing system for bonds and equities called Euroclear. This also has an
identifier code of 9 digits called COMMON. The number is jointly issued by Euroclear and
Clearstream, a division of the Deutsche Bourse following a takeover of the original clearing system
called CEDEL in 2002.

Similarly, electronic databases with company and financial market information have adopted their
own systems for coding entities on their systems. All entities on Bloomberg are called “tickers”
whether or not they are stocks. However, the Bloomberg ticker is made up of a company symbol
and a market symbol. On Datastream there is a system of company mnemonics, with both
alphabetical and numeric equivalent company codes. The alphabetical version shows the market
on which the shares are being traded. There is not a direct or necessary matching between the
database systems and the US ticker.
Examples of other identifiers used by electronic library services etc

       Company        UK Company               US Company               European Company
Identifier            Next                     Apple                    KPN
US Ticker             NXT                      AAPL
Bloomberg             NXT LN                   AAPL US                  KPN US

Datastream            NXY                      @AAPL                    H:KPN
Datastream            901203                   992816                   142440
Numeric Code
Datastream            UK:NXT                   U03783310                H00908
Local Code (1)
Worldscope            C826BS070                37833100                 C528C0760
Worldscope            N/A                      C84002890                C528C0760

BvD ID No(4)          GB04412362C              US30015NUC               NL02045200C
WVB No(5)             01752EX                  30015NU                  30003EN
VALOR No(6)           3208986                  000908440                001076509

Euronext                                                                KPN

  (1) This is an identification code based on the official local exchange code. It comprises up to
      12 characters, prefixed by an alphabetic country code. For UK it is the TIDM and for the US
      the CUSIP
  (2) A 9-character identifier used by WS to identify companies/securities on the database. For
      US companies the CUSIP is used.
  (3) WS Primary Issue Identifier is provided at a security level for companies with more than one
      type of common/ordinary share. An identifier to enable cross searching on BvD products
  (4) BvD ID number is an identifier that uniquely identifies each company included in at least one
      BvD product. The first 2 characters correspond to the ISO country code, and the following
      characters depend intrinsically on the type of company to which the number is attached.
      Note: GB, not UK, is used for Great Britain. The code is not displayed in FAME, but can be
      constructed as above.
  (5) An identifier created by Telekurs, the Swiss financial information company and numbering
      agency, which maps to other identifiers like ISINs.
  (6) A European exchange
Section B: Company Registration Numbers
Most countries have other systems for specifically identifying companies. These may be for the
registration of companies and their names, VAT or other tax administration, trade, or statistical
purposes. These numbers may appear with their different names on several products.

Examples of company registration numbers

Country                            Name                              Issuer
France                             SIREN                             Official identification number
Germany                            Crefo                             Creditreform
Italy                              CCIAA                             Chambers of Commerce
Netherlands                        Handelsregister                   Chambers of Commerce
UK                                 Registration                      Companies House
USA                                IRS*                              Internal Revenue Service
* IRS is properly the EIN or Employer Identifier Number used by IRS as the identifier

Section C: Screening by Identifiers
The following table sets out where it is possible to search (or screen) for companies using as
criteria the identifiers listed in Sections A and B. The BvD products are FAME, AMADEUS and

       Product DATASTREAM BLOOMBERG BvD                           CAPITAL IQ          MERGENT

Identifier      Datatype if                           F   A O

ISIN            WC06008            Y                  Y Y Y
SEDOL           WC06006            Y                  Y   Y                                   Y
CUSIP           WC06004            Y                  Y Y Y               Y                   Y
TICKER          FTSTKR             Y                                                          Y
CIK                                                                                           Y
COMMON                             Y
SICOVAM                            Y
WPK                                Y

DS CODE         DSCD
WS              WC06035
WS              WC06036

BvD ID NO                                                 Y Y
WVB NO                                                      Y

VALOR NO        WC06007                                   Y Y

CO REG NO                                             Y
IRS NO                                                                                        Y
Section D: Hints on using identifiers in particular products

    1) To upload a list (containing Datastream mnemonics or company codes)
       Open the list in Excel
       Highlight the entries (no spaces or odd text). It is important to insert leading “zeros” for
       certain list applications.
       Go to Datastream-AFO
       Go to Tools
       Select Create List from Range.
       Store the list locally/upload to Datastream.
       Use the L# mnemonic in a list application

    2) To view company names and identifiers
       Go to Datastream-AFO
       Open a static request
       Insert the codes for various identifiers (from the table above) in the Datatype entry box.

BvD products

    1) Uploading company lists
       To upload a list of companies into FAME, you will need the company registration numbers.
       You cannot upload a list based on name or any other identifier.
       The file containing the registration numbers must be saved with a .ron or .bvd file extension.
       In order to create the list and save it with the appropriate file extension, use Notepad. This
       will default to trying to save the list you create as being a text file, but you can change the
       file type to all files and then rename your file with .ron or .bvd after its name.
       To open the list in FAME, click on the Load a Company File (available via the expert search)
       and then browse for your file. Once it has been found, you should be able to open your set
       of companies as a list. You can then format your list your display the data required.

       To upload a list of companies in AMADEUS, you will need their BvD identifier numbers.
       Nothing else will work. Follow the stages described above for FAME. This time the file
       should have the .bvd extension.

       To upload a list of companies in OSIRIS, you use files generated as above but with several
       different file extensions i.e. .set for an unspecified list, .tic for tickers, .bvd for BvD id
       numbers, .wvb for WVB numbers, .val for VALOR numbers.

    2) Matching companies
          BvD provides special software called CINS (Company Identification Number Search)
          which allows you match companies from an internal client file with those on a BvD
          database. The software simplifies the process company verification and matching, and
          links with the BvD id no.
          To use this software, choose the File drop-down menu and click on CINS

    3) Alerts
           You can use a company file as a basis for alerts.

    S/ISD/Library/Research Support/SubjectGuides/SubjectGuide_CompanyIdentifiers_v1_Feb2007_GC.doc

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