Home > Business Databases, company information > All UK listed companies (part 2)

All UK listed companies (part 2)

After looking at all currently listed UK companies (part 1) we can now look at producing a list that includes delisted/dead companies. (Note that delisted/dead companies may still exist but their shares are no longer actively traded.)

Thomson Reuters Datastream has worldwide coverage and includes a number of pre-defined constituent lists that can be used as a starting point.

DS-WS-datadefn-issue14WSCOPEUK is a list of UK companies that are also covered by the Worldscope company accounts database. On 28 May 2013 WSCOPEUK contains 5015 securities (a few companies issue multiple securities).

However, as with the list of current UK companies from the London Stock Exchange (LSE), there are a number of filters that we might want to apply.

205 securities are not listed on the LSE – most of these are on ICAP Sec & Der.E  (formerly UK Plus) exchange, some have no value for EXNAME. 169 securities are not the major security of the company. 86 securities are not the primary listing of the security.

  1. All securities on WSCOPEUK on 28 May 2013 – No of securities 5015
  2. Securities on LSE, that are major and primary (EXDSCD = ‘LN’ and MAJOR = ‘Y’ and ISINID = ‘P’ – No of securities/companies 4670
  3. Securities/companies that are not Investment Trusts or Closed-End Funds (TYPE = ‘EQ’) – No of securities/companies 4055
  4. Of these 4055 securities/companies, 2732 are dead/suspended  and 1323 are active securities/companies – 517 on LSE Main market and 806 on LSE AIM market (Datastream variable REMK identifies AIM listed companies but only if they are active)

One potential limitation of WSCOPEUK is that it only includes companies that delisted/died in 1985 or later. Indeed the data for early years looks sparse – it has 7 companies that died in 1985 and 11 companies that died in 1986.

Datastream also has the constituent lists FBRIT (Research UK active) and DEADUK. Using the same filters as above – first FBRIT

  1. All securities on FBRIT (active securities) on 28 May 2013 – No of securities 1640
  2. Securities on LSE, that are major and primary (EXDSCD = ‘LN’ and MAJOR = ‘Y’ and ISINID = ‘P’ – No of securities/companies 1595
  3. Securities/companies that are not Investment Trusts or Closed-End Funds (TYPE = ‘EQ’) – No of securities/companies 1549
  4. Of these 1549 securities/companies, 39 suspended, 563 LSE Main Market, 947 LSE AIM market


  1. All securities on DEADUK (dead securities) on 28 May 2013 – No of securities 8568
  2. Securities on LSE, that are major and primary (EXDSCD = ‘LN’ and MAJOR = ‘Y’ and ISINID = ‘P’ – No of securities/companies 5353
  3. Securities/companies that are not Investment Trusts or Closed-End Funds (TYPE = ‘EQ’) – No of securities/companies 5082
  4. Of these 5082 securities/companies, 4872 died after 31 Dec 1984, 678 died in 1985 and 150 died in 1986.

As in part 1 the number of companies depends on how you choose to define “UK listed companies” and the time period that you are considering.

One major advantage of using Thomson Reuters Datastream in this investigation is that the companies can be identified using codes (in this case the Datastream dscode) rather than names so getting further data is easier.

overview companies in wscopeuk (click to expand)

overview companies in wscopeuk (click to expand)

Looking at the Datastream Navigator summary data for WSCOPEUK it is clear that this constituent list includes unquoted companies for which there is no share price data, and there are many UK listed companies where Datastream has share price data but no accounting data in Worldscope. Having discovered while writing this post that there are more issues here than expected further analysis is postponed to part3.

The analysis of Datastream’s coverage of UK companies was done using the Datastream Navigator advanced search, and a DS request table to get static data about all members of constituent lists WSCOPEUK, FBRIT and DEADUK – see screenshot for example results.


  1. John
    7 June 2013 at 9:48 am


    For dead securities/companies which have been delisted, how can you ascertain the reasons for delisting in Datastream?

    Is there a quick way to do this for a large number of companies (for instance, the list of delisted firms from 2000-2012)?



    • John
      7 June 2013 at 10:36 am

      My aim is to sift companies which were delisted due to bankruptcy or financial distress, from those which were delisted for other reasons (e.g. mergers, take-overs, buybacks).


      • markgreenwood
        10 June 2013 at 10:39 am

        On Datastream there is no field that gives the reasons for delisting and therefore no quick way of doing the screening you mention.

        It is often possible to find out if a company has been taken over by another listed company as the Datastream name has T/O by appended (and the data appears in corporate actions – CA). However in other cases you just get delisted and no detail whether this is due to financial distress (bankruptcy) or that the company has gone private.

        For UK companies, LSPD provides data on the reason for delisting.

  2. Rubin Alvarado
    15 June 2013 at 8:17 am

    WSCOPEUK is a list of UK companies that are also covered by the Worldscope company accounts database. On 28 May 2013 WSCOPEUK contains 5015 securities (a few companies issue multiple securities).

  3. 3 July 2013 at 10:38 pm

    Worldscope is the global company accounts “database” from Thomson Reuters and thus a key research resource for company information. It is accessed using either Datastream (active and inactive companies) or Thomson One Banker (active companies only).

  4. Jim
    21 May 2014 at 12:25 pm


    Thank you for helpful post.
    I have exported all the data I need from DEADUK and FBRIT lists, but now I need to identify all Main Market-listed firms.
    In the post you mentioned that “Datastream variable REMK identifies AIM listed companies”.
    Can you please elaborate where I can find this variable? Searching for such datatype in Datastream Navigator did not yield any results.

    Thanks in advance.

    • markgreenwood
      21 May 2014 at 4:35 pm

      REMK is a Datastream static variable, but you have to add it by manually rather than search and select using the Datastream Navigator.
      For UK equities REMK can be
      DEAD – inactive/dead
      SUSP – suspended
      AIM – Alternative Investment Market
      IT – Investment Trust
      /NA – active Main Market
      Using REMK to identify AIM listed companies was suggested by the Thomson Reuters Datastream helpdesk, but it does not really work for dead companies.

  5. Jonas
    27 December 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Hi Mark,
    firstly thanks for the great article! That helps me a lot for my bachelor thesis.
    I need to analyze returns of German stocks in the last 20 years. I am searching at the moment for stocks to include/exclude.

    My Problem: I am not sure, whether I should tick “major security” and “primary quote”.

    What exactly understands Datastream under a major security?
    The primary quote is the stock exchange with the highest number of shares of the stock?

    I did not find an answer in the internet, would be great if you can help!


    • Mark Greenwood
      30 December 2015 at 4:01 pm

      Hi Jonas,
      My advice would be to tick/select both “major security” and “primary quote” unless you have a specific reason for not doing so.

      A small number of companies have more than one class of shares – modern examples include facebook and google. The major security is the one that is the most traded – it is “major” from the perspective of investors.

      The issue of primary and secondary quotes usually arises because a large company wants cross-list to make is easier for investors worldwide. For example, many large UK companies have a primary listing on the LSE (London Stock Exchange) and a secondary listing in the US (NYSE or Nasdaq), and sometimes another secondary listing on a European exchange (which could be Frankfurt).

      The post All French listed companies in 2002 (Datastream) may be a help. Fuller (official) definitions of the Datastream datatypes MAJOR and ISINID are available though the Datastream Navigator.

      Best wishes,

      PS. Another post about cross-listed shares – https://datateamoftheeur.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/faq-how-can-i-find-cross-listed-stocks-in-datastream/

  6. Johan
    22 February 2016 at 11:55 am

    Hi Mark,

    In connection with my thesis, I need Worldscope data for all companies that has been listed on the LSE in the period between 1991 to 2015 – including those who has been delisted during this period (i.e. dead companies). My intention is to backtest several investment strategies based on different financial accounting measures obtained from the Worldscope database.

    I have tried to use the method described above. Unfortunately, I am facing difficulties applying the suggested filters at WSCOPEUK. This problem has probably something to do with the removal of the advanced search in Datastream Navigator after this article was posted in 2013. Now you apply filters by ticking and unticking filters on the left hand side. However, when choosing WSCOPEUK, I am not able to use any filters.

    I was wondering if you know how to apply those filters using the new Datastream Navigator?

    Any help would be highly appreciated! Thank you!

    Best regards,

  7. XiaHong
    8 March 2016 at 4:48 pm

    Hi Johan,

    If you would like to filter out companies that are not listed before 1991, you can use datatypes NAME, TIME in static request. NAME datatype will give the name of the companies as well as the date, reason if the company was delisted. TIME datatype will give the date when the company was first listed. Hope this helps.

    Best wishes

  1. 11 June 2013 at 12:24 pm
  2. 12 April 2014 at 11:42 pm

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