WorldScope coverage update

WorldScope company records now cover annual reports data for 75388 companies. This includes 46388 active and 29000 inactive companies. This update: 289 companies were added. Despite these additions the number of active companies in the database has gone down 175 from 46563 in August. This is the third update in a row that the total number of active companies went down. 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 fourth Thomson Reuters Infostream quarterly publication of 2013.

Major updated Countries (new records):
Canada (36)
Hong Kong (20)
Japan (14)
United Kingdom (16)
United States (123)


CRSP Mutual Funds & NASDAQ Tickers

Not long ago I got a question about the sustainable & responsible Mutual Funds that were listed on the US SIF website. Using the 145 NASDAQ tickers from the website I did a search (through Wharton/WRDS) in the Mutual Funds database Fund Summary of the Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP). Data on a total of 138 funds was returned but unfortunately for only 108 funds the NASDAQ ticker was also returned as a data variable. 7 of the funds were not returned and also gave no result in the output.

This makes it impossible to easily combine the downloaded data with the data from the US SIF website for 37 of these funds. I contacted the CRSP helpdesk to find out why for 30 funds the tickers were not returned and why for 7 funds it might be missing.
The following situations may cause this result from the CRSP database:

  • The fund is not in the search result because it is not in the CRSP database
  • The fund is not in the search result because it is not connected to the NASDAQ ticker
  • The fund is in the search result but has no NASDAQ ticker because it was not connected to it for all the years in the database.

This means two things:

  1. To find the missing NASDAQ Tickers for the funds it may be an idea to change the approach of the research. First do an initial search with all the NASDAQ Tickers and change the scope of the search to include a larger number of years. For the older years the NASDAQ tickers may be available. Using the matching Fund Numbers from CRSP you can now do a second search to get the data you need for the original time frame of the research. This means some extra work using Excel or SPSS to get a matching list of NASDAQ tickers and CRSP Mutual Fund numbers.
  2. To find out if missing funds are really not in the database a manual search needs to be done using the Code lookup option.

The easiest way I found to start the research, is getting a list of CRSP fund numbers combined with the NASDAQ tickers using the historical DVD copy of the CRSP Mutual Funds database. With the installed CRSP Sift 4.2 software it is extremely easy to get a matching list. A search in this database can be done using a plain text file with NASDAQ tickers.

If tickers are missing from the result you get a specific pop-up message listing the missing tickers. You can copy these and save them separately. The Excel search result of 138 funds can later also be used to match the CRSP data with the US SIF data from the website.


What is the Bitcoin Price?

In a previous post I talked about the Bitcoin charts website where it is possible to get price information for specific platforms. The Bitcoin is an interesting phenomenon as it is a new specific digital currency. The past year the price of the Bitcoin has gone remarkably up and down according to newspaper reports but which price are journalists usually talking about? Some articles use the website of the Japanese company MtGox Co.Ltd. as it is one of the older platforms where Bitcoins are used/traded a often. When the exchange rate of the Bitcoin reached the 1000 US Dollar mark this was the platform the journalists were referring to.

There are, however, several platforms on which Bitcoins are traded or exchanged and also at different rates. The actual prices or exchange rates are therefore not straitforward in my view. CoinDesk has launched a proprietary price index in September 2013 that is currently based on a combination of sources to establish an average price. The exchange rate sources that are included in the formula to calculate the price need to conform to the following criteria: (a) The exchange must serve an international customer base (b) The minimum trade size must be less than 1,500 USD or equivalent (c) Banking transfers in or out of the exchange must be completed within seven days without special fees.

The Bitcoin Price Index in my view looks to be a better source to find out what an accurate average price is. More background information is available on the CoinDesk website.


World Bank Commodity Prices update November 2013

New and updated information on commodities has been published in the December monthly pink sheet. The new pink sheet can be downloaded through the website on commodity markets. It is available as a PDF file. The World Bank also offers an updated complete historical monthly & annual commodity price series starting from 1960. The overview can be downloaded as excel files and has the new monthly or annual price data up until November 2013.

The current pink sheet has some changes as regards to the units of some of the commodities. An overview of these changes is available below:

The historical excel files with the monthly or annual data haveĀ also been changed accordingly.