Home > Business Databases, company information > All UK listed companies (part 3)

All UK listed companies (part 3)

Thomson ReutersIn part 2 we used Thomson Reuters Datastream to move from all currently listed UK companies (part 1) to including delisted/dead companies. It became surprisingly complicated so a review seems appropriate.

Three possible ways to get a list of all listed UK companies:

  1. Datastream Search for all equities on the London Stock Exchange, major security and primary quote. (TYPE = ‘EQ’ and EXDSCD = ‘LN’ and MAJOR = ‘Y’ and ISINID = ‘P’) DS-LN-EQ-MP  (No of securities/companies 7428 – 4 June 2013)
  2. Datastream constituent lists FBRIT (UK active cos) and DEADUK (UK dead cos) FBRIT + DEADUK (No of securities/companies 10208 – 28 May 2013)
  3. Datastream constituent list WSCOPEUK (UK companies in Worldscope) WSCOPEUK (No of securities/companies 5015 – 28 May 2013)

Comparing the results of these three lists.

Overlap of lists on UK companies

Overlap of lists on UK companies

Many companies in DS-LN-EQ-MP and FBRIT+DEADUK are not in WSCOPEUK because it does not cover pre-1985 and coverage for the late 1980s looks incomplete.

The Datastream consituent lists FBRIT + DEADUK  include investment trusts, and companies on other exchanges e.g. ICAP Sec & Der.E  (formerly UK Plus), that are excluded from DS-LN-EQ-MP.

The 755 companies only in WSCOPEUK includes over 600 investment trusts, and companies on other exchanges.

(click to expand)

(click to expand)

The 193 companies in WSCOPEUK and DS-LN-EQ-MP but not FBRIT+DEADUK appear to be mostly unquoted but with accounting data in Worldscope. Most don’t have a SEDOL code.

The 690 companies only in DS-LN-EQ-MP also appear to be mostly unquoted, but without accounting data in Worldscope. Only 56 have a SEDOL code.

Using Thomson Reuters Datastream to get all listed UK companies there are the expected problems of how to deal with foreign companies listing in the UK and investment trusts. If accounting data is needed then the historic data available is less than for the price (financial market) data. This review also shows that there is a problem with unquoted companies. These are included in Datastream, and Worldscope, probably because they are traded over the counter (OTC).

The best alternative to Thomson Reuters Datastream for getting a historical listing of companies listed on the London Stock Exchange the London Share Price Database (LSPD). This is a specialist research database (programming required) and only includes monthly price data. For more details see Jan 2011 post Finding UK listed companies – try LSPD.


  1. tlau
    23 August 2013 at 8:36 am

    This was very informative, thank you! If I use the second method, would you happen to know if datastream has these codes for other countries as well? (E.g. dead US stocks) Thanks!

    • markgreenwood
      27 August 2013 at 11:00 am

      Datastream provides constituent lists for “dead” companies for most countries (DEADUK, DEADFR, DEADAU, DEADCH, …). However because their size some lists are broken down – “dead” UK companies is available as one list, DEADUK, and as seven smaller lists DEADUK1, DEADUK2, DEADUK3, … DEADUK7. US “dead” companies are only available as six separate lists DEADUS1, DEADUS2, DEADUS3, … DEADUS6.

      Similarly for the Worldscope constituent lists there is WSCOPEUK and WSUK1, WSUK2, … WSUK6 but no single US list only WSUS1, WSUS2, WSUS3, … WSUS21.

  2. Panagiotis Loukopoulos
    25 February 2014 at 3:56 am

    This is very HELPFUL guidance on how to construct company list. I have only two questions. First, if we simply download (UK) accounting data from the excel add-in datastream the data refer only to active companies?

    Second, one solution to include as many listed companies in a list, is to merge FBRIT, DEADUK and WSCOPEUK ?

    Thank you, in advance !!!

    • markgreenwood
      25 February 2014 at 5:06 pm

      When using Datastream, it is how you select your companies(equities) that determines whether you have only active companies, or active and dead (and suspended) companies. If you use the constituent list WSCOPEUK in the Datastream Excel add-in you can request accounting data for over 3000 dead companies and over 1500 active ones. However on 31 Dec 2010 only around 400 dead companies will have data. The others will return NA (not available) as they died before 31 Dec 2010.

      You could merge FBRIT, DEADUK and WSCOPEUK but this will include companies like Manchester United and Virgin Media who have their primary listing not in the UK. On the practical level, a list of over 11,000 companies may have to be split into smaller parts depending on the amount of data that you are downloading.

  3. Panagiotis Loukopoulos
    26 February 2014 at 4:37 am

    I downloaded company data ( 25/02/2014) from datastream AFO using the series provided by the sector list (aerospace and defense,alternative energy…until travel and leisure – 40 sectors including financial institutions). The sum of the companies is 1613 without imposing any filters. I think that the particular list refers by default to the FBRIT list.

    However, i noticed that in accounting and finance literature, active and inactive company data are used. Therefore, following the related literature, i will download the lists FBRIT, DEADUK and WSCOPEUK, then i will apply all the filters you suggested separately, and finally i will merge them. The final list should serve as the sample of companies on which my research should be based. this correct?

    I am sorry for my questions. But i am a new an inexperienced researcher.

    I would like to thank you one more time, because the analysis you provided is not easily found.

    • markgreenwood
      26 February 2014 at 5:54 pm

      Sometimes the way that Datastream is configured searches are restricted to active companies by default.

      In doing the above analysis, I used a Datastream AFO Request Table to get the following variables for the FBRIT, DEADUK and WSCOPEUK lists.

      Selecting the sample of companies will depend on your research. Sometimes researchers want to exclude financial companies, or utility companies. Sometimes they only want companies listed between specific dates. You should describe how you have selected your sample of companies so that other researchers can understand what you did.

  4. Panagiotis Loukopoulos
    27 February 2014 at 4:49 am

    I used a Datastream AFO Request. -> Time Series Request -> Find Series -> Explore (Datastream Navigator) -> Equities-> United Kingdom. And from the last option i could retrieve data by sector. Nevertheless i followed the steps you analytically presented along with the variables (for screening) and it seems to work quite well.

    • markgreenwood
      27 February 2014 at 11:25 pm

      Comparing with your description I usually choose Find Series -> Criteria Search (Datastream Navigator). This search interface is a little harder to use but will include active and dead companies so long as you choose the Status All tick-box. In contrast Explore -> Equities -> United Kingdom does only return active equity series.

      I shall try to do a post highlighting this next week. A revised and updated version of

  1. 22 July 2014 at 7:35 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s