When looking through Bloomberg's BSYM data ADR and Common Stock data (5/2/13), I was able to find the ticker symbol 'V' associated with Visa but was unable to find any record for Vivendi, which I believe also used 'V' at some point in time.

If BSYM is a truly unique identifier (which interests me since it's an open-source way to have a unique security ID), shouldn't I see at least one record for the Vivendi Universal ADR that also had the 'V' symbol?


Here's a more clear example: Chrysler used to trade under "DCX" (after they were bought by Daimler) ... that ticker appears nowhere in the Bloomberg BSYM data. So I'm assuming that a current view of the BSYM equity/common-stock list has survivorship issues (i.e. it's a great source of all current tickers but won't include any companies that no longer exist).


bloomberg symbology returns the last known ticker and associates that with a bbgid. They do not release all of the associated tickers with data. There is no way of finding out all of the historical tickers associated with an entity. bloomberg publishes bbgid's which are "open" by searching and unique but you need api access to become survivorship bias free.


Your answer is found on Wikipedia,

Symbols sometimes change to reflect mergers. Prior to the 1999 merger with Mobil Oil, Exxon used a phonetic spelling of the company "XON" as its ticker symbol. The symbol of the firm after the merger was "XOM". Symbols are sometimes reused, in the US the single letter symbols are particularly sought after as vanity symbols. For example since Mar 2008 Visa Inc. has used the symbol V that had previously been used by Vivendi which had delisted and given up the symbol. [1]

Here is a list of current registered Vivendi symbols on Bloomberg.

  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, perhaps my question is phrased poorly. I'm wondering why there isn't a record showing that for some period of time, Vivendi used 'V'. And what is the unique identifier of that security? In other words, does the current "Equity_Common_Stock_1_20130502.txt" have survivorship issues? Or do I just have to trust that what Bloomberg currently has listed as "VIVHY" is the same security as that which used to be listed under "V" (which I don't think is right, btw)? $\endgroup$ – MikeRand May 3 '13 at 10:33

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