Thursday, October 09, 2008

Corporate bond info

A research assistant stopped by the desk asking for information that may not be available. She is helping a professor see if there is a data source that tells you what percentage of a given company's corporate bonds are held by institutional investors. After consulting with Harry Gee, it seems as though that data is not likely to be disclosed by anyone, which means there is no likely data source on it.

Here's what we looked at or considered as possibilities before ruling them out:
  • Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage: Offers descriptions of the corporate bonds but no details on who owns them.
  • Bloomberg: Doesn't have the specific info needed although it does offer some details on the bonds themselves.
  • WRDS: There is a data set in WRDS called FISD (Fixed Income Securities Database) that we don't subscribe to and that isn't likely to have the specific info needed.
  • Mergent Online: Also offers specific details on different bonds issued by corporations but not who owns them or in what percentages.
I recommended that the student contact Louise Klusek to see if there might still be other sources out there we hadn't considered. If anyone has additional suggestions, please let me know by posting a comment to this blog post.

FYI: I found the Business FAQ from the Lippincott Library at U Penn to be a nice starting point in thinking about possible sources of info.

1 comment:

Rita said...

Any database would likely be incomplete as there are many corporate bonds that are "bearer bonds", that do not require knowledge of the owner. Thus, whoever has possession of the bonds is the "owner." A Baruch accounting professor once related how some windows blew out of a building during a hurricane-like storm in lower Manhattan, and some "bearer bonds" went out the window too. Whoever found them was a lucky person.