Securities Identifiers

Securities Identifiers – Security Identification Codes -Securities Reference Codes

Prospectus LLC can help with any step in the process of your public or private placement offering. For companies issuing securities, it is common to apply and register for securities identifiers, also referred to as securities identification numbers and/or securities reference codes. These global protocol identification numbers are critical elements used for two primary purposes: (i) for investors to verify and confirm the authenticity of securities offered (ii) they are mandatory on the part of global trading platforms, trade clearing and trade settlement platforms that oversee transacting and settling the trades of said securities via securities industry clearing facilities such as DTCC and Euroclear (among others).  The type of identifier varies with different countries around the globe.

The acquisition of this identifier is mandatory for companies that wish to issue public securities and for Issuers who want to ensure their investors can transact this securities in a compliant manner via global trade processing portals. The most utilized type of security identifier in the global financial marketplace is International Securities Identification Number, aka “ISIN code”. While this identifier is widely utilized around the world, the default securities identifier utilized by Issuers in North America is CUSIP, which stands for the Committee on Uniform Security Identification Procedures. UK Issuers (as well as Issuers in many parts of the European Union with subsidiary units domiciled in the United Kingdom) favor the SEDOL (Stock Exchange Daily Official List). Around the world, there are many different securities identification codes. Here at Prospectus LLC, our team can help with the registration and attainment of the most appropriate and most relevant securities identification codes based on Issuer domicile and the secondary market trade processing platforms that will be used by investors who may be transacting the respective securities. These include some of the following:

Valor or Valoraen Code

The Valorean identifier is used for companies who want to list their securities in Switzerland. It is simply a number code that has no excess data embedded inside it. This is unlike the widely used ISIN or CUSIP numbers.


The WKN identifier, also known as Wertpapierkennnummer, WKN, WPKN, WPK, or Wert, is a six character identifier that is mostly used by businesses based in Germany, and those wishing to list their securities on German exchanges. Once again, there is no embedded data like the commonly used ISIN and CUSIP codes.


The APIR identifier is mostly utilized by companies in Australia and their securities. Also, it can be used by businesses wishing to register and list their equity on Australian exchanges. It stands for the Asia Pacific Investment Register, and the actual code itself consists of 9 characters. Like the ISIN code, it consists of both numbers and letters. Aside from New Zealand and Australia, the US and even Ireland sometimes uses this securities identifier.

LEI – Legal Entity Identifier

The LEI is a similar code to ISIN, but it differs in some key ways. The LEI and ISIN both consist of numbers and letters. The key difference, however, is that the LEI utilizes 20 characters while the ISIN code only utilizes 12. Another key difference is that the LEI only identifies the company itself, whereas the ISIN code identifies the company’s securities.


The NSIN identifier (National Securities Identifying Number) also utilizes both numbers and letters. Unlike the ISIN which consists of 12 letters and numbers, the NSIN only consists of 9 characters. This securities identifier is issued by a country’s NNA, and it only identifies fungible securities.


FIGI (Financial Instrument Global Identifier), is also very close to the ISIN code in that they both contain 12 characters which can be letters or numbers. Any security, debt or equity, can obtain a FIGI code. Hundreds of millions of securities have been assigned a FIGI code since it came into existence. As of right now, there is a lot of movement in the financial world towards the continued use of this identifier.


The CUSIP code contains 9 numbers, and it is widely used in North America to identify its securities. This identifier is administered by the S&P, and it is the most widely used identifier in the US.


The MIC identifier, Market Identifier Code, signifies exchanges and trading markets rather than businesses and their securities. Whether the trading market is regulated or unregulated, it has a code in the MIC structure. Because there aren’t as many markets in the world as securities and businesses, the MIC code only consist of 4 characters.


The ISIN code is the most widely used identifier in the world. This 12 character identifier is used to classify both debt and equity securities. It stands for the International Securities Identification Number. ISINs are mostly utilized for IPOs, and having this code is required for most stock exchanges throughout the world.


An RIC identifier, known as the Reuters Instrument Code, is completely different from any other securities identifier. It is solely used by Reuters to classify indices or financial assets. For the most part, these codes are used for research and not for the sole purpose of identifying a debt or equity security like ISIN or CUSIP. RIC’s contain a ticker symbol which can then be followed by another character, usually based on which stock exchange is being identified.


The SEDOL identifier is a 6 number code utilized by those in the United Kingdom. It is used to identify stocks and bonds based in UK exchanges. With the ISIN code, it is the most widely used identifier in the United Kingdom.


CFI identifiers (Classification of Financial Instruments), are six letter codes that are in alphabetical order. The CFI is used for newly issued financial securities, and its purpose is simply to identify them. As a result, this code never changes for each individual security. Another purpose of this identifier is to help with the grouping of securities in an easy and consistent way.


The FISN code, which stands for Financial Instrument Short Name, exists to create acceptable shorter names and descriptions for all types of securities. It was authorized for use in the fall of 2014. At the time of issuance, a new security is assigned a FISN code which is a 15 character code consisting of both numbers and letters.

Option Symbol

Symbols for options are also utilized across the globe. It is a simple code that identifies any options that are registered on an options exchange. In addition, an option symbol also classifies securities on a futures exchange.


Sicovam stands for Société Interprofessionnelle pour la Compensation des Valeurs Mobilières.

The Sicovam identifier is used for French debt or equity securities on stock exchanges in France. This is similar to the SEDOL for the UK. This French code is a 6 character code consisting of both numbers and letters. A unique perk of the Sicovam is that it can be turned into an ISIN, CUSIP or SEDOL code.

Uniform Symbology

The Uniform Symbology code was created with the goal of making a shared thread between markets and securities in Europe. he Uniform Symnology contains a stock code that also has a lower case letter at the end which indicates the stock exchange that it trades on. These codes are only used in Europe and do not have widespread support like ISINs.

Ticker Symbols

Ticker symbols are used across the globe for all types of securities that trade on any public stock exchange. Any publicly traded financial instrument is assigned a ticker symbol before it is actually traded on any exchanges. Tickers, unlike other identifiers, can change in length. They can also contain numbers and letters. They are commonly known as stock symbols.

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Securities Identifiers

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