Datastream & Excel download limit

When you download a lot of data from Datastream you may run into the problem that Microsoft Excel 2007 has a download limit. The download stops at the limit of the previous Excel 2003 version: Columns from A to IV. Transposing the download may not always solve the problem. If this happens the workbook in Excel may have started the worksheet in the (Excel 2003) compatibility mode. The solution is to start a new worksheet in the Excel 2007 mode.

You can do this as follows:
1) Start up Excel
2) Close the (blank) workheet
3) Click on the round Excel symbol in the top left corner
4) Click the option: Excel options
5) Go to the tab: SAVE
6) Change the option: Save files in this formatExcel Workbook (*.xlsx)“.
7) Click OK
8) Now start up a new worksheet
9) Download data from Datastream

See below the example screen capture:

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Datastream & Futures Continuous Series

Recently I got the question: what is the maturity date for the Futures continuous series contract of the AEX? According to Wikipedia a Future or Futures contract is: a standardized contract between two parties to buy or sell a specified asset of standardized quantity and quality for a price agreed today (the futures price or strike price) with delivery and payment occurring at a specified future date, the delivery date.
One of the reasons to buy Futures contracts, is to hedge future risks of price increases. For instance, in case of commodity prices like oil, or grain. Futures contracts can be traded on exchanges.

Datastream is a source that offers information on Futures. You can get time series data like price information as well as static information like maturity/delivery dates. The following screen shows you where you can find Futures data in Datastream. The example is a search for the AEX Future contracts:

After clicking the AEX mnemonic (code) ETI a popup appears which lists three types of Futures & Options: Continuous series, Live series, and Dead series. The top option is the Continuous AEX series ETICS00:

Continuous Futures series are defined by Datastream as: a perpetual series of Futures prices, Price Open, Price High, Price Low and Settlement Price. It starts at the nearest contract month, which forms the first values for the continuous series until either the contract reaches its expiry date, or until the first business day  of the actual contract month.  At this point the next trading contract month is taken. Continuous Series can be identified by the mnemonic (code) of the series which includes: CS00 or CT00

If you want to see which contracts made up the Continuous series you can this as follows:

1) Find the series you are interested in.
Example: ETICS00. Where: ETI is AEX en CS stands for Continuous series.

2) Live or Dead lists:

  • Add LFUT infront of the first part, where L is List, FUT is futures, ETI is the (example)class code. Add L at the end for Live. For the live list this example ends up as: LFUTETIL.
  • Add LFUT infront of the first part, where L is List, FUT is futures, ETI is the (example) class code. Add D at the end for Dead. For the dead list this example ends up as: LFUTETID.

A static search will get the Futures contracts for the Continuous series as follows:

In the end the answer to the question of the epiry date for the AEX Futures continuous series is that there is not really an end because the series combines the short term contracts into a long series. More information is available on Continuous Futures series in the Datastream Background document. Regular Futures Contracts usually have specific Expiry dates and starting months. More information is also available through the Futures Guide. In it it is describbed how the Help Browse option will help you find the expiry months for specific exchanges.

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Bankscope: identifying banks

Bankscope is a database that covers banks around the world. Each bank report contains detailed data from consolidated and/or unconsolidated balance sheets and income statements. Also included are Fitch Ratings and other sources. Bankscope offers company and country risk ratings, reports, ownership, and some security and price information. This database is produced by Bureau van Dijk and, depending on the license, covers 30.000 banks and up to 16 years of data (for example: the license at the Vrije Universiteit currently covers only banks from OECD countries and about 8 years).

When you are searching for companies it may initially seem odd, that in the search result in Bankscope there are many duplicate banks. See the example below:

When you look carefully you see that in (the middle) column “Cons. code” you can identify specific statements from companies. If you want to look at specific company reports or when you want to find out how many actual banks you initially found you can do this as follows:

  • Click “Show Search Strategy” above list of banks
  • Choose the option “Add a search step
  • Click the Search option: “Account Availability” and select “Living Banks“.


The search result will now list how many banks were actually found instead of the number of financial statements that were found. The example below shows that from the initial search result of 81 statements these were from 19 actual banks. Keep in mind that numbers in a search result can change quickly because the Bankscope database is often updated and new statements or banks may be added.

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WorldScope coverage update

WorldScope company records now cover annual reports data for (currently) 72711 companies. This includes 46356 active and 26355 inactive companies. This update: 697 companies were added. WorldScope company records are available through Datastream and LexisNexis.

Today I have updated the WorldScope country coverage file and it now includes the latest update as it was posted in the second Thomson Reuters Infostream quarterly publication of 2012.

Major updated Countries (new records):
Australia (31)
Bangladesh (29)
Canada (87)
China (82)
India (30)
Poland (20)
Taiwan (44)
South Korea (23)
Ukraine (34)
United Kingdom (28)
United States (88)

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