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

  • Ticker: AAPL
  • Reuters: RSF.ANY.AAPL.OQ
  • 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.OQ and want to get Bloomber equivalent, which is "AAPL US".

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

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what do you mean by solution to map? program which takes Ticker and returns Bloomberg ticker and Reuters RIC? –  AB_ Mar 20 '13 at 19:28
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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. –  Matt Wolf Mar 20 '13 at 19:29
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@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. –  assylias Mar 20 '13 at 23:04
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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. –  assylias Mar 20 '13 at 23:06
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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. –  addicticks Apr 11 at 13:34

5 Answers 5

up vote 8 down vote accepted

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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Bloomberg equity codes are usually quite easy to derive if you know the ticker (though you may have to replace dashes/spaces/slashes for preferred and multi-class shares). This is just for equities though and this is definitely not the case for futures.

RICs are a different story. In the US, you need to know on what exchange the ticker is listed to get the suffix. Outside the US and Asia, it's even worse, RICs have very little relationship to the tickers they refer to and are often completely different.

However, Reuters does provide daily definitions of every single RIC and provides the associated ticker (which can be used to derive the Bloomberg code) as well as SEDOL/CUSIP and other identifiers. This product is provided as part of the "Reuters Datascope Equities" data. If you are working for a financial institution, it is very likely that they would be subscribing to these daily text files, and you should enquire. These files can be parsed to produce daily RIC -> native ticker, and then trivially converted to Bloomberg mappings. I don't believe you will find any other source of comprehensive RIC data anywhere else.

Also, be aware that Bloomberg codes and RICs do not refer to ticker, they refer to exchange quotes. For example, "AAPL US Equity", "AAPL UP Equity", AAPL.OQ, AAPL.P, and a dozen more all refer to various Apple quotes on different exchanges. So be aware that you are mapping quotes, not tickers (an while the RICs for the exact same stock trading on various exchanges seem to share the same root in the US, this is not usually the case in other countries).

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"Also, be aware that Bloomberg codes and RICs do not refer to ticker, they refer to exchange quotes.". Well, tickers are exchange codes. Tickers are defined by the exchange and they can define this themselves. There's no central body/organization that ensures that two exchanges will allocate the same ticker symbol for the same company. –  unixhacker2010 May 23 '13 at 15:13

I will be adding here some resources that I found during the research, hopefully it will turn useful for others:

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Also worth adding the Bloomberg open symbology links. On this one, you can download whole files (bottom left: predefined files) with tickers, names etc. And on this other one you can query securities by external codes (ISIN, SEDOL etc.) and get a file with the corresponding Bloomberg identifiers. –  assylias Mar 21 '13 at 17:35

Bloomberg provides unique identifiers, I assume Reuters does the same thing. It might be a good idea to use those, or at least track them. Presumably you have pricing data on each of these? You could always check a few close prices against each other to check if you have matched the strings correctly.

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try www.tr8tool.com. It looks like they have a bunch of major names already mapped.

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This looks interesting. Do you have any affiliation with them? I notice you've listed their commercial counter-party in another answer. –  chrisaycock Oct 2 '13 at 13:11
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I'm not sure I understand this service. Seems a bit of scam really. I tried typing in MSFT.O (the Reuters RIC code for Microsoft as traded on Nasdaq) and got an "unknown company" reply. That would seem to be pretty basic. If such a service truly existed on the Internet then the owners would have to pay an gigantic license fee to owners of the naming scheme (e.g. RIC naming scheme, Standard & Poors naming scheme, etc). –  addicticks Apr 11 at 13:24

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