About ISIN

About International Securities Identification Number (ISIN)


The ISIN Number Standard

Here at ISIN we assist companies and funds worldwide obtain their International Securities Identification Number. We are a world leading firm assisting issuers obtaining ISIN codes, CUSIP numbers, and a vast array of other securities identification numbers. ISIN.com works with funds and companies worldwide to ensure that one’s offering is structured correctly and to achieve maximum exposure for one’s business.

ISIN codes are popular and often times needed for companies and funds that have investors or are seeking to raise capital. An ISIN code has many functions, most prominently the ISIN number is used to clear and settle trades, whether for private or for public companies. Those that apply for ISINs will need to create the proper documents for the ISINs to be issued, such as an offering memorandum, prospectus, or other ‘equivalent’ document that outlines the securities being offered, or the securities that need the international securities identification number.
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ISIN Structure

    An ISIN consists of three main features as exemplified by US-049580485-1 (the dashes are not relevant but are here for example purposes only). An ISIN number can be broken down as follows:

  • A two-letter country code, drawn from a list (ISO 6166) prepared by the International Organization for Standardization or "ISO)" This code is assigned according to the location of a company's head office. A different code desigantion, 'XS' is used for international securities cleared through pan-European clearing systems like Euroclear and Clearstream. Depository receipt ISIN usage is unique in that the country code for the security is that of the receipt issuer, not that of the underlying security.
  • A nine-digit numeric identifier, called the National Securities Identifying Number (NSIN), and assigned by each country's or region's . If a national number is composed of less than nine digits, it is padded with leading zeros to become a NSIN. The numeric identifier has no intrinsic meaning it is essentially a serial number.
  • A single check-digit. The digit is calculated based upon the preceding 11 characters/digits and uses a sum modulo 10 algorithm and helps ensure against counterfeit numbers.

What is an ISIN - Usage

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.

CUSIP  (owned by the American Bankers Association and operated by Standard & Poor's) and its work with a CUSIP number. Similarly in the U.K., the Stock Exchange Daily Official List (SEDOL).

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. ISINS are used by share custodians to track holdings of institutional investors in a format which is consistent across markets worldwide.

Applying for an ISIN

Learn how ISIN.com 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.

Applying for an ISIN

To get an ISIN number is usually achieved by drafting the proper documentation and then applying for the correct ISIN code. For a public company usually a prospectus is needed, while for a private company seeking to raise capital a private placement memorandum or offering memorandum is needed. This is also true for obtaining a CUSIP number.

Obtain a CUSIP Number

To obtain a CUSIP number a company or fund must also draft the proper documentation and apply for the CUSIP number. To get a CUSIP number one must apply to the proper agency that allocates the CUSIP. ISIN.com can assist your company with the drafting of the documentation and the CUSIP application process.

Why Get an ISIN Code or CUSIP Number

An ISIN number or CUSIP number is a standard code that is needed today. The numbers help identify a security, much like a social security number does for a person. For cross border trading, an ISIN number is imperative for clearing and settlement.

Reasons for adopting ISIN codes

  1. It provides a simple, clear and uniform method for securities clearance and settlement.
  2. It allows easy tracking of stock holdings of various investors in a universal accepted format that is used across various countries.
  3. It makes clearance and settlement of the transactions faster through electronic means and prevents human interference.

The usage of ISINs continuously grows. Contact us for any questions or if you need assistance.

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