All UK listed companies (part 1)
Researchers often want a list of “all UK companies” as a first step in creating a sample set. At this stage first check that we really mean “all UK listed companies” (also known as public or quoted companies).
[For all UK public and private companies there is the FAME database, but research requests for just listed/public companies are more common.]
Now to keep things simple in this part one we shall refine this a little more to:
– all UK listed companies that are currently on the London Stock Exchange (LSE)
This eliminates UK companies that choose to list on foreign exchanges (Manchester United is listed in New York). It is easier to first consider current companies. [current and historical companies we leave for part 2].
The London Stock Exchange website includes a “List of All Companies” spreadsheet in its companies and issuers statistics section. Taking the 30 April 2013 sheet, there may be several further refinements to consider.
- All companies on the London Stock Exchange at 30 April 2013 – No of Companies 2,457
- Only companies with ordinary shares – eliminates those with only Depository Receipts, Fixed Interest and Warrants – No of Companies 2,162
- Remove Investment Trusts – LSE uses the ICB (Industry Classification Benchmark) – remove where Group indicates company is an Investment Trust – Group is 8995, 8985, 8671, 8672, 8674, 8675 (see ICB details below) – No of Companies 1,717
- Restrict to LSE Main Market and not the International Main Market – No of Companies 540
The removal of Investment Trusts is quite common – sometimes research involves other sector specific restrictions and there are a variety of industry/sector codes that can be used. The removal of Depository Receipts and the International Main Market eliminates companies that have a secondary listing on the LSE to make their shares more accessible to UK investors.
The LSE “List of All Companies” spreadsheet is a good way of illustrating the restrictions that might be added to get the “UK listed companies” required for a specific research analysis. However, it is not ideal as it only provides company names. You cannot load a list of companies into a database using their names you need a list of company identifiers (recognised by the database that you wish to use).
Databases use identifiers because companies can change their name over time, and because names can differ slightly between databases.
ICB details for those interested – the detailed ICB structure is available on the ICB structure page – 8995 Nonequity Investment Instuments, 8985 Equity Investment Instruments, 8671 Industrial and Office Real Estate Investment Trusts, 8672 Retail Real Estate Investment Trusts, 8674 Diversified Real Estate Investment Trusts, 8675 Speciality Real Estate Investment Trusts.