Mapping symbols between tickers, Reuters RICs and Bloomberg tickers

  • Is there any known solution (preferably open source) to map between ticker symbols, Reuters and Bloomberg symbols. For example:

    • Ticker: AAPL
    • Reuters: AAPL.O (may be prefixed with RSF.ANY. dependent upon infrastructure)
    • Bloomberg: AAPL US Equity

    Edit: by mapping I mean translating from one symbol naming convention to another. For example let's say we have RSF.ANY.AAPL.O and want to get Bloomber equivalent, which is "AAPL US Equity".

    Edit2: Fixed Bloomber mapping, it should be "AAPL US Equity" not "AAPL:US"

    what do you mean by solution to map? program which takes Ticker and returns Bloomberg ticker and Reuters RIC?

    Short answer : no there is not at least not open source. And if you consider the immense cost of maintaining such database (investment banks maintain whole teams to accomplish that : consider name changes , symbol merges, discontinuations...) then I guess that explains why.

    AFAIK neither Bloomberg or Reuters provide a direct mapping - so the typical solution is to go through a third common code (like ISIN for example) - that requires to have access to both a Bloomberg & a Reuters data source.

    @assylias I have access to both. If you know how to translate ISIN to both Reuters and Bloomberg symbols I would be happy to accept such an answer.

    @Radek On Bloomberg, in Excel for example, `=BDP("AAPL US Equity","ID_ISIN")` returns the ISIN: `US0378331005` and inversely, `=BPD("US0378331005 ISIN","TICKER")` returns `AAPL`. You can do something similar with their VBA/C/C#/Java API. I'm not that familiar with Reuters but I would have thought you can do something similar.

    Depending on the security, the SEDOL might work better (ISIN don't specify listing place): `=BDP("AAPL US Equity","ID_SEDOL1")` => `2046251` / `=BDP("2046251 SEDOL1","PARSEKYABLE_DES")` => `IBM US Equity`.

    Radek if you have access it is easy to create such program if can use their API

    @assylias That sounds promising, any idea how would you translate ISIN from/to RICs in Reuters?

    Saw this today. Reuters RIC code `AAPL.OQ` is hardly the equivalent of Bloomberg `AAPL US Equity`. The former is very specifically NASDAQ, the latter is not, afaik. Precision, precision, precision.

    @simplethings the Bloomberg equivalent would be `AAPL UW Equity`.

  • Here are some pointers.

    First of all: What you list as a Reuters RIC, RSF.ANY.AAPL.OQ, is not really a RIC, only the AAPL.OQ is. The initial part is some stuff which is essentially site specific and tells me that you are working on a site that has a legacy RTIC infrastructure (some Reuters/TIBCO technology which is quite old these days and for all practical purposes has been deprecated in favour of other distribution mechanisms, most notably the ADS). Ok, the AAPL.OQ is the RIC, and only that. The initial part, the RSF.ANY denotes the feed and that is because the Reuters Market Data System (an in-house ticker plant) is vendor agnostic and can have any feed on it, for example Bloomberg. So the initial part could might as well be BB.ANY in order to denote the site's Bloomberg feed. .. and then the latter part would of course be a Bloomberg symbol, not a RIC. But we are getting ahead of ourselves here and mixing technology implementation with that of instrument naming schemes, most notably the RIC and the BSYM.

    With regards to how Reuters RICs are constructed you can read this guide. This document also exist on the Thomson Reuters web site but it doesn't seem to be available without registration. I just found the public link by Googling. There may be a newer version of this document but I doubt it makes much of a difference. RICs have been constructed the same way for ages.

    As for the Bloomberg Symbology (BSYM) you can find more information on this link. Bloomberg has multiple identifiers to identify the same thing. Only the BBGID (Bloomberg Global ID) doesn't change with name changes, i.e it is constant over time. The downside is that it is totally meaningless. Another way to access a data item is to use a combination of the Ticker, Market and Pricing source with spaces between them.

    Both Reuters and Bloomberg try to use the exchange's ticker symbol as part of their naming standard whenever possible. Unfortunately some exchanges use incomprehensible ticker symbols but that is not really the fault of Reuters or Bloomberg.

    Bloomberg has made their symbology available under a very liberal "open source" license. Don't be fooled though. He who defines the universe, owns it. Without an impartial body to allocate the symbols it is really not worth much, IMHO. The difficulty in naming financial instruments lies not so much with exchange traded instruments like equities. That is rather simple: Take the exchange's own ticker symbol and then add some self-invented identifier to denote the market place. That's how both Reuters and Bloomberg do it. Nope, my friend, the difficulty (and the real lock-in) is with all the OTC instruments.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM