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INTERNATIONAL SECURITIES IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (ISIN)

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Definition:
A number that uniquely identifies securities. ISINs consist of a total of 12 characters.

Context:
In 1989 the Group of Thirty (G30) recommended the adoption of ISIN codes as the international standard for the identification of securities. Although ISINs had been in existence since 1981, there is little evidence of their use before 1989. In 1990 ANNA was formed with the primary objective of maintaining and implementing the international standard. The International Standards Organization (ISO) designated ANNA as the registration authority to coordinate all aspects of the implementation of the ISIN numbering system.

In 1994, at the initiative of ANNA, GIAM (the Global ISIN Access Mechanism) was developed to link NNAs and GIAM participants electronically, allowing them to pass ISIN information to each other.

In 1995, ISO designated ANNA as maintenance agency and registration authority of the ISO 10962 (Classification of Financial Instruments [CFI]).

In the past several years, ANNA has been working out a new strategy to guarantee the full implementation of ISIN and CFI codes and the swift and general availability of the codes to users. The global financial industry has been rapidly moving toward the automated processing of securities transactions (Straight-Through Processing), and the ability to precisely identify the securities has become essential. In this context, ANNA has developed a new network for the exchange of information among participant members, called GIAM-2, based on the combination of CD-ROM and Internet technologies.

The standard provides a uniform structure for the ISIN, a number that uniquely identifies securities. It details NNAs that are responsible for issuing the ISIN in each country. In those countries where no NNA is in operation, three NNAs have agreed to act as a substitute agency on a regional basis.

Source Publication:
Coordinated Portfolio Investment Survey Guide, Second Edition, International Monetary Fund, 2002, Washington DC. Appendix VII: International Securities identification Number Code System.

Hyperlink:
http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/cpis/2002/pdf/cpis_index.pdf

Statistical Theme: Financial statistics

Created on Thursday, August 01, 2002

Last updated on Monday, December 05, 2005