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Homepage / Company codes – CUSIP, SEDOL, ISIN…. What do they mean and how can you use them in our resources?

Company codes – CUSIP, SEDOL, ISIN…. What do they mean and how can you use them in our resources?


As you use our many finance resources you will probably notice unique company identifiers which may be codes or symbols. It is worth spending some time getting to know what these are and which resources use which codes and symbols as they can help you to move lists of companies – almost effortlessly – between different financial databases.

In our company codes table here you will find a list of Library finance resources and which codes/symbols are available within each. In some cases, the codes/symbols available for a company depend on the geographical location of the company/equity, e.g. American companies will usually have a CUSIP but not a SEDOL.

Please see below for the most commonly used codes and symbols and their definitions:

CUSIP – an acronym of Committee on Uniform Security Identification Procedures is a 6, 8 or 9 digit alphanumeric code which identifies a North American equity. They are created by the American Banking Association and are operated by S&P Capital IQ.

ISIN – uniquely identifies a security – it is a 12 character alphanumeric code. They are in the process of being introduced worldwide. Most financial data providers, e.g. Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg, BvD, usually include an ISIN number.

SEDOL – stands for Stock Exchange Daily Official List – they are 7 characters in length, a 6 place alphanumeric code plus a trailing check digit. These numbers are assigned to securities by the London Stock Exchange. They serve as the National Securities Identifying Number so form part of the securities ISIN number as well.

TICKER – or stock symbol – this is used to identify publicly traded shares of a particular stock on a particular market. It may be letters, numbers or a combination of both.

DATASTREAM CODE – the unique six-digit identification code allocated by Datastream.

RIC – Reuters instrument code used in EIKON to identify companies.

LEI – Legal Entity Identifier this is an international ISO standard it is a code to enable to identify legal entities that are involved in financial transactions.

If you have any questions about how these can be used please contact the School of Management Library.

Feature image from Pixabay. Available at: 

Tracey Nunn

Written By: Tracey Nunn

A Business Librarian since 2006, Tracey leads support for taught MSc courses in the School of Management Library.

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