Symbology Mapping FAQs
Equities are considered to be the “easiest” asset class to map and the immediate reaction is to map by ISIN. However, the ISIN is allocated to a financial instrument at the asset level
The RIC / Bloomberg key defines an instrument on a venue, it’s an issue of granularity : One ISIN can have dozens of RICs. Note that the Bloomberg FIGI is also at the granularity of venue not Instrument , therefore RIC to FIGI mapping is one to one. Hence the ISIN is not granular enough to identify a RIC or Bloomberg ticker for a specific exchange .
No algorithm can on its own translate any equity. At very least you need to translate the exchange identifier even if the “ticker” is common. However even mapping the exchange is not straight forward
- Bloomberg users’ default to the Country Composite “exchange”, where often there are no Refinitv equivalent composites
- 90% of the exchange “tickers” can be common across both vendors but where the exchange ticker conflicts with a vendor’s “syntax” it will vary
- Rules to handle share classes, Rights, Preference shares, Warrants are required and vary by exchange
- Other exchanges have variants for Auctions, Foreign Investments, Buy Back, odd lots
In short, a simple ticker map may work some of the time, but if you need all for the instruments mapped all of the time a different approach is required.
Futures are probably the easiest asset to map as there are the fewest in number and simple in construction .
The legacy 1 digit year and one letter Month code is universally used by exchange and vendor alike. But even this has changed as contracts extend beyond 10 year and so 2 digit years are required, but the exchanges and vendors cant agree what year month to introduce them
The root code for futures used by the exchange are rarely used by the feed vendors. The only solution is a comprehensive cross reference that needs to be maintained
Option RIC mapping to Bloomberg or vice versa is one of the trickiest tasks
In theory with the RIC root, BBG root, Strike, Exercise style, Put Call Indicator, expiry date, exchange MIC it is possible to create a RIC code. However not all the meta data required can be parsed from the BBG symbol, you need access to the fields only available from the vendors feed
Because symbologies don’t allow decimal places the strike price has to be scaled : A strike of 15.5 can be represented by 0155 15500 01550 any number of ways. The scaling can alter as you transition from 99-100 (common in options on bond futures). Other series may have both 100 and 1000 strikes, map these wrong and your trading the wrong instrument
Mapping RIC to Blomberg tickers for OTC instruments is a black art.
There are no algorithms and often the meta data required is not forthcoming. Even the ISO currency code and the tenor get abbreviated and distorted for historic restriction in ticker sizes
The only solution is to map each instrument by investigation and to store and maintain the mapping.
Mapping Index codes between Bloomberg and Refintiv is as difficult as OTC. Most Index providers do not supply full meta data required to clearly identify the difference between a Gross or Net version of the same Index, and the data vendors usually only provide a 15 character description string. MSCI are the main culprit , they publish a 6 digit code for the Index, but then have up to 12 variants with the same code