Securities with which ISINs can be used include debt securities, shares, options, derivatives and futures. The ISIN identifies a security, not the exchange (if any) on which a security trades; it is not a ticker symbol. For instance, a common stock trades through almost 30 trading platforms and exchanges worldwide, and is priced in five different currencies. The stock common has different ticker symbols depending on where it is traded, but has only a single ISIN worldwide. Since an ISIN cannot specify a particular trading location, another identifier, typically a Market Identification Code (MIC) or a three-letter exchange code, has to be coupled to an ISIN in order to specify trading/clearing location.
The ISIN standard is used worldwide to identify specific securities such as bonds, stocks (common and preferred), futures, warrant, rights, trusts, commercial paper and options. ISINs are assigned to securities to facilitate unambiguous clearing and settlement procedures. They are composed of a 12-digit alphanumeric code and act to unify different ticker symbols – which can vary by exchange and currency — for the same security. In the United States, ISINs are extended versions of 9-character CUSIP (Committee on Uniform Security Identification Procedures) numbers; ISINs can be formed by adding a country code and check digit to the beginning and end of a CUSIP, respectively.
What is an ISIN number?
An ISIN number, or “ISIN”, or international securities identification number, is a 12 digit code consisting of numbers and letters that distinctly identify securities like stocks and bonds. ISIN numbers are more than 30 years old, and today have been adopted by many countries and exchanges as the sole method used in identifying securities. They are more precise than ticker symbols and other codes and are fast becoming the world’s sole method for securities identification.
Obtain ISIN Numbers
In order to obtain and ISIN number, one must apply for the ISIN. The application process varies depending on the company or fund’s location, and indeed each locality has varying rules and stipulations both in the application process, and in allocating ISIN numbers. In order for a company to get or receive their ISIN it is important that all rules be followed, otherwise the ISIN will not be allocated. MFN can ensure your application is correct.
Learn how Public Financing can obtain an ISIN number for your company’s securities. Obtaining an ISIN code for stocks, bonds and other securities is often needed for companies seeking to raise capital, whether debt or equity. The ISIN number code distinctly identifies the securities of the company or fund. The ISIN number is vital for cross border trading and communication.
ISINs were once considered only a secondary form of security identification, used exclusively for clearing and settlement. In recent years, some European countries have adopted ISINs as their primary security identifier. ISIN’s are implicitly used in the U.S. and Canada because they are built upon CUSIP numbers. Over time, most countries appear willing to adopt ISIN numbering either as a primary or secondary identifier.
Universal acceptance of ISIN is important in meeting the goal of global straight-through processing (GSTP), which is the electronic handling of the trade clearing and settlement without manual intervention. ISIN codes are used by share custodians to track holdings of institutional investors in a format which is consistent across markets worldwide.