RIC Codes and How They Affect Best Execution


A Refinitiv Identification Code, or RIC, is a ticker-like code used by Refinitiv (formally Reuters / ThomsonReuters) to identify financial instruments and indices. The codes are used for looking up information on various Refinitiv financial information networks, such as Refinitiv Real Time.

RICs were originally proprietary, but were opened up in 2012 following the European Commission’s antitrust proceedings against ThomsonReuters which investigated whether ThomsonReuters could be abusing its dominant position in the market for consolidated real-time datafeeds through its RIC licensing practices.

RIC Composition

A RIC is primarily made up of the security’s ticker symbol, optionally followed by a full stop and exchange code based on the name of the stock exchange using that ticker.



IBM.N is a valid RIC referring to IBM stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

IBM.L is referring to IBM stock traded on the London Stock Exchange.

This naming convention is not a definitive rule, and RICs often take on a variety of other formats. RICs can use “artificial” tickers for common indexes and money market instruments. For instance, the US 10-year money market bond is assigned the ticker US10YT, the “T” at the end referring to “Treasury”. Commodities are similarly assigned tickers.. For instance, crude oil is CL. Indexes have a leading period, for instance, DJI is the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

RICs and other identifiers

A RIC is not like an ISIN or other identifiers. An ISIN uniquely identifies securities but does not identify the venue (or exchange) where they are traded. For example, the ISIN US4592001014 refers to the IBM stock as a whole, irrespective of venue. An attempt to map ISIN US4592001014 to a RIC would return more than 50 RICs, one per exchange: IBM.LM, IBM.MX, IBM.BE, IBM.HA, IBM.H, IBMI.L, etc.

Best Execution reference prices

At TRAction, the trades analysed on our Best Execution platform get their reference price information from our link with Refinitiv’s price databases. For transaction reporting purposes, ISINs are used as identifiers so it becomes imperative to link the ISIN to the closest matching RIC code.

TRAction includes this linking as part of its best execution offering.

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