Home > Business Databases, company information > Obtaining historical corporate credit ratings data from ThomsonONE.com

Obtaining historical corporate credit ratings data from ThomsonONE.com

Corporate credit ratings data are useful to assess the financial capabilities of companies to pay back their debt obligations.

Current ratings market is dominated by three rating agencies, the so called ‘big three’. They are Standard & Poor’s (S&P, circa 40%), Moody’s (circa 40%), and Fitch Group (circa 15%).

Ratings could be assigned to debt obligations due within one year (short term rating), or beyond one year (long term rating). They could also be assigned to debt securities that are in local currency or in foreign currencies.

The University of Manchester Library subscribes to a few databases that provide current and historical corporate credit ratings data. One of them is ThomsonONE.com.

1.     From ThomsonONE.com portal, a company’s current and historical ratings data can be accessed via the company’s Debt Overview page.

This shows Pfizer’s corporate ratings by the big three agencies since 1972. Data could also be downloaded into Microsoft Excel:

(1) ThomsonONE.com for one company's credit rating

Corporate ratings on ThomsonONE.com for one company at a time

However, this works well only if one needs data for one or a small number of companies. In finance research, we normally need data for hundreds if not more companies over a period of time.  This is when ThomsonONE.com Excel add-in becomes very useful.

2. ThomsonONE.com’s Excel add-in is efficient when it comes to extract multiple years of data for a portfolio of companies.

The Excel add-in for ThomsonONE.com, called Thomson Reuters Spreadsheet Link (TRSL), allows for more complex data gathering requests. Below is an example of getting S&P’s Long term issuer ratings for FTSE100 companies from 1996-2015

List of companies

Step 1: Upload FTSE100 companies with their respective Thomson Tickers (identifiers such as ISIN, CUSIP, and Datastream Code also work), with years 1996-2015 across, with the TRSL add-in


Step 2: Select Items look up, and type in ‘Rating’ at the search box. The first item S&P Long Term Issuer Rating will appear. Highlight this item


Step 3: Input Date and Identifier with cell referencing. So that date cell is C$1, and identifiers cell is $B3. Click on Export


Step 4: Getting the data: At export option box, select ‘Excludes Headings and Dates’, and press OK




Copied across… and under…

Where to find Thomson Reuters Spreadsheet Link

TRSL is available in the Library Finance Zone (currently Dover Street Building G.010). Please see information signs in the rooms for how to set it up.

Alternative sources of credit rating data

Good sources of historical corporate credit ratings data include Bankscope, Bloomberg (through the terminal only), Mergent FISD and Compustat. Datastream only provides current data only.

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  1. 3 March 2016 at 2:21 pm

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