What are bond CUSIP numbers, and how do you look them up?


Quick Answer

Bond CUSIP numbers serve to uniquely identify a bond and its issuer, and they can be looked up on Standard & Poor?s online database and its CUSIP Directory, LexisNexis explains. Alternative resources include directories and publications available from LexisNexis Academic Business and SEC filings databases.

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Full Answer

Publications that list CUSIPs include WorldScope Company Profiles, Nelson?s Public Company Profiles, Standard & Poor?s Corporate Descriptions, America?s Corporate Finance Directory and Vickers Security Reports, LexisNexis states. Some websites, including QuantumOnline.com, also publish CUSIP look-up tools.

A CUSIP consists of nine characters that may be letters or number, CUSIP Global Services states. The first six characters identify the issuer of the security; this may be a government agency, a municipality or a company. The seventh and eighth character identify whether the security is a stock or a bond. The last character is used to express the result of a formula that verifies the accuracy of the other characters.

The American Bankers Association is the owner of the CUSIP system, while Standard & Poor?s operates it, the Securities and Exchange Commission notes. A CUSIP number is assigned to U.S. federal and municipal bonds and all Canadian and U.S. stocks. The CUSIP International Numbering System is used for non-U.S. and non-Canadian securities.

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