What Is an International Securities Identification Number (ISIN)?

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If you have purchased shares or carried out research about any company’s stock, you must have noticed a unique number assigned to each share. This unique alphanumeric code consists of 12 digits and is used to help identify the stocks.

Each security, whether it's an equity share, bond, or mutual fund, domestic or global, has a unique identifier that we call ISIN. In this blog, we will understand its meaning, decode its format and explore the purpose it serves in the world of finance.

Highlights of the Blog

  • What is ISIN?
  • Format of ISIN
  • Where to find the ISIN of Stocks?

What is ISIN?

ISIN stands for International Securities Identification Number. It is a 12-character alphanumeric code that internationally identifies financial instruments. It is allocated by the National Numbering Agency (NNA) of the respective country.

In India, the agency responsible for allocating ISIN to financial securities is National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL). Since more than 200 countries follow this numbering system, you can identify securities traded on 100+ exchanges using ISIN.

Let’s Decode the Format of ISIN

Here’s an ISIN of a hypothetical company, ABC Limited, headquartered in India:

IN E123456XY 7

There are 3 elements to this 12-digit ISIN code:

  1. The first 2 alphabets (IN) represent the country code where the company has its headquarters. For India, it is IN. US companies have codes starting with the US, whereas companies headquartered in Japan have ISIN starting with JP.
  2. The next 9 characters (E123456XY) are reserved for the unique identification number provided by the numbering agency (NSDL in the case of Indian companies).
  3. The last digit, aka check digit, is used to reduce the occurrences of errors and fraud. 

Where to find the ISIN of Stocks?

Now that you know what is ISIN and its format, let’s understand how you can find out the unique code of each stock.

There are three ways you can search for the ISIN of a particular stock - via NSDL, NSE, or BSE’s website. Here’s how you can do it.

  • 1. Searching for ISIN via NSE’s website

Step 1: Visit NSE’s official website.

Step 2: Type the company name in the search bar and hit enter.

Step 3: Navigate to the ‘ISIN Details’ tab to get the ISIN of the particular stock.

  • 2. Searching for ISIN via NSDL’s website

Step 1: Visit NSDL’s official website.

Step 2: Click on ‘Advanced Search’ and then ‘Company Search’.

Step 3: Then click on ‘Detailed Search’.

Step 4: Enter the name of the company and hit the ‘Search’ button to get ISIN.

  • 3. Searching for ISIN via BSE’s website

Step 1: Visit BSE’s official website.

Step 2: Type the company name in the search bar and hit enter.

Step 3: The ISIN of the stock will appear on top, next to the company’s name.

In Conclusion

With the help of ISIN, tracking securities becomes super convenient; not just in the domestic market but also internationally. This unique 12-digit code not only helps in identifying securities accurately but also provides transparency in the market. Even for filing the tax return, the ISIN of the scripts you traded in is required. So next time you invest in any financial instrument, make sure to check and keep track of the ISIN codes associated with your investments.

Disclaimer: Investments in the securities market are subject to market risk, read all related documents carefully before investing.

This content is for educational purposes only. Securities quoted are exemplary and not recommendatory.

For All Disclaimers Click Here: https://bit.ly/3Tcsfuc

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