Corporate Actions special report


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XBRL Marks the Spot

Ever since I entered the reference data space, the main topic of discussion in the corporate actions market has been getting the issuers involved in standardizing announcements at the source level. A range of different initiatives has been suggested-everything from raising awareness in the issuer community to forcing issuers to implement new software-but the success of these has been limited.

Yet, now it could seem like the right foundation has been laid for the industry to finally
make a progress. The growing international use of data tagging standard XBRL for
financial accounts, and the US Securities & Exchange Commission's move to mandate
the use of XBRL for company filings means the issuer community will be familiar with
this standard. The question is if XBRL could be extended to corporate actions-or more
precisely, if regulators would consider mandating the use of XBRL for corporate actions
announcements too.

This is at least what industry groups hope will happen. In fact, there is already a
working group creating an XBRL taxonomy for corporate actions, and Swift and the
Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation are both working with XBRL on the corporate
actions initiative. So even though change is not expected overnight, the development is
now a lot more encouraging than it was a year back.

Corporate actions and the issuer debate is now, in fact, becoming an important area
to follow. And with this special report, which includes comments from industry experts
and a news review, we hope to give readers the opportunity to keep on top of the latest
developments in the corporate actions space.

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