Working with lists of codes

Recently I had to work with a list of company names and codes. These codes looked as if they were Datastream codes and were suposed to indicate listings of shares. The company codes may indicate similar securities. When you have to work with a list of codes that you have not collected yourself it is always a good idea to check what type of codes they are. Depending on the type and nature (or version) of the security, some of these may need to be excluded from research (or not).

I uploaded the code list into Datastream and this way I could find out what type of securities these code match. To do this I used the following three Data Types:

  • TYPE
    Description: This datatype indicates the type of instrument requested. Countries for which available: ALL. The following list provides values returned for this datatype:
  • TRAC
    Description: The Security Type Code provides the type of share for each security as defined by the Thomson Reuters classification system.
  • TRAD
    Description: The Security Type Description provides a description of each security type (datatype TRAC) found in the Thomson Reuters Classification System.

Example screenshots:

1) Static Search in Data Stream:

2) Example search result:

In the search result you see that the codes indicate different types of equities, including: Fully Paid Ordinary Shares, Ordinary Shares, Preference Shares, and maybe more. The first two types are basically the same. Preference shares are slightly different because of voting rights. Many other databases also offer variables that can be downloaded with data (or lists) and that indicate the type of instrument or type equity data you are downloading. Always check the manual or help information to find out how a database works and how you can download what you need. For some Compustat databases I have posted what variables indicate the security type for these databases.


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