Anyone who knows me knows that I have an unhealthy interest in open symbologies. Until we have a common reference for identifying things, it is difficult to build higher-order open connectivity (such as reusable APIs).
In the financial instrument space, the best symbology I am aware of is OpenFIGI. Whilst it is maintained by Bloomberg, it is open and free to use.
I recently had a question and want to share the answer in case anyone else has the same query. Incidentally, OpenFIGI support were super speedy and helpful when answering – kudos!
My question was regarding representing base currencies – USD or SGD. If one searches on OpenFIGI for the Currency SGD, one gets the following:
From this result alone, it is unclear whether this represents a pure ‘SGD’ currency, or (as the name suggests) a USD/SGD spot FX pair.
The response from support was:
The FIGI BBG0013HFJF2 does represent the USDSGD Spot Exchange Rate – Price of 1 USD in SGD. All currency FIGI represent pairs. A FIGI is not assigned to a single representation of a currency alone. No FIGI exists for just USD or CAD or SGD, only in pairs of currency.
This clears up the confusion quite nicely. Personally I would have chosen the ticker ‘USDSGD’ to represent the pair, but so be it.
Open symbology for the win!