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MI Glossary

S&P Global Market Intelligence’s industry glossary covers common terms from the financial markets. Please email to let us know if there is an entry you would like us to add, clarify, or expand or if you think we have made a mistake in a definition.

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  • Alternative Data

    Alternative data sets are information about an individual company that is published by external sources. It can provide unique insights into investment opportunities.

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  • Annual Default Rate

    Percentage of all outstanding loans that a lender has written off as unpaid after a prolonged period of missed payments.

  • Asset-Backed Securities (ABS)

    Bonds or notes backed by pools of financial assets, typically with predictable income flows, originated by banks and other credit providers. Examples of such assets include credit card receivables, trade receivables, and auto loans.

  • Basel

    Set by the Basel Committee on Bank Supervision (BCBS), the Basel Accords are a series of banking regulation agreements (Basel I, II, and III). The accords ensure that financial institutions have enough capital on account to absorb unexpected losses and are designed to better identify capital risk, market risk, and operational risk.

  • Bond

    A debt obligation issued by a corporation, or other Issuer, promising to pay periodic interest and to repay the principle upon maturity. Maturities begin five or more years from the date of issue.

  • Capital Expenditure (CapEx)

    CapEx is the amount of cash used by a company to invest in capital assets such as Property, Plant and Equipment.

  • Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities (CMBS)

    Securities that are backed by one or more pools of mortgage loans. CMBS are backed by one or more loans secured by commercial properties, which may include multifamily housing complexes, shopping centers, industrial parks, office buildings, and hotels.

  • Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1)

    Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) is a capital measure introduced in 2014 as a precautionary means to protect the economy from a financial crisis. It is a component of Tier 1 capital that is mostly common stock held by a bank or other financial institution.

  • Credit Analysis

    Credit analysis is a type of financial analysis performed to measure the issuer's ability to meet its debt obligations.

  • Credit Rating

    The opinion of a Ratings agency, such as S&P Global Ratings, of the overall creditworthiness of an obligor (Issuer credit rating) or an Issuer's creditworthiness with respect to a specific debt Issue (Issue credit rating).

  • Credit Risk

    Credit risk is the risk of default on a debt that would arise from a borrower's failure to make required loan payments or meet contractual obligations.

  • Data Center

    A large group of networked computer servers usually used by organizations for the remote storage, processing, or distribution of large amounts of data.

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  • Digital Transformation

    Digital transformation is the adoption of digital technology by a company to improve efficiency, value, innovation, or fundamentally transform existing business processes and customer experience.

  • Downgrade

    A rating change in a negative direction, indicating a decrease in creditworthiness.

  • Earnings Call

    An earnings call is a telephone or video call between the management of a public company, analysts, investors, and the media to discuss the company’s financial results from the latest reporting period, such as a quarter or a fiscal year.


    EBITDA is an unlevered normalized measure of operating earnings before the impact of accounting and financing decisions. It excludes exceptional gains or charges from unusual and discontinued activities, as well as depreciation of fixed assets and amortization of intangibles.

  • Energy Transition

    Energy transition refers to the global energy sector’s shift from fossil-based systems of energy production and consumption — including oil, natural gas and coal — to renewable energy sources like wind and solar, as well as lithium-ion batteries.

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  • High Yield Bond

    A high-yield bond is a debt security issued by a corporation with a lower-than-investment grade rating. 

  • Investment Grade

    Companies with S&P Global ratings of 'AAA' to 'BBB-' are considered "investment grade," that is, their ability to honor financial obligations ranges from highest to adequate.

  • Islamic Finance

    Islamic finance refers to financial activities that are Shari'ah compliant. It aligns with the moral principles of Islam and encourages partnership.

  • Leveraged Loan

    A leveraged loan is a debt instrument undertaken by speculative-grade issuers, arranged by one or more investment banks and sold largely to institutional investors. 

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  • Loss Given Default

    Loss given default (LGD) is one minus the expected recovery rate. For example, if the expected recovery is 40% then (1-0.4) = 0.6 or 60% loss given default.

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  • Machine Learning

    An area of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning is the concept that a computer program can learn and adapt to new data without human intervention.

  • Market Data

    Market data refers to quote and trade related data.

  • Natural Language Processing (NLP)

    An area of artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP) is the application of a computer program to process and analyze large amounts of human language. 

  • Net Interest Margin (NIM)

    Net interest margin (NIM) is a profitability ratio expressed as a percentage, comparing a company's net interest income with its debts and costs. 

  • Probability of Default (PD)

    During the given time horizon, the probability the instrument would default.

  • Project Finance

    Project finance is the long term funding of public infrastructure, services, industrial, or other projects based upon anticipated cash flows rather than existing balance sheets. Finances can consist of a mix of debt and equity.

  • Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)

    Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes are four-digit numerical codes that classify and analyze economic activity across various industries and government agencies, and promote uniformity in the presentation of statistical data.

  • Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC)

    A special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) has no commercial operations and is formed to raise capital through an initial public offering (IPO) to acquire or merge with an existing company.

  • Syndicated Loan

    A loan offered by a group of lenders, referred to as a syndicate, who provide funds to a single borrower.  The “retail” market for a syndicated loan consists of banks and, in the case of leveraged transactions, finance companies and institutional investors such as mutual funds, structured finance vehicles and hedge funds.

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  • Upgrade

    A rating change in a positive direction, indicating an increase in creditworthiness.

  • Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC)

    The weighted average cost of capital (WACC) is a calculation of a company's average cost of capital from all sources.

  • Yield Curve

    A yield curve is a graph that plots yields (interest rates) of fixed income securities, plotted against the years remaining to maturity.

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  • Yield Spread

    A yield spread is the difference between the quoted rates of return on different investments calculated by deducting the yield of one instrument from the other. This difference is most often expressed in basis points (bps) or percentage points and can be an indication of risk premium.

  • Yield to call (YTC)

    The expected return a bondholder receives if a bond is called before the maturity date.

  • Yield to Maturity (YTM)

    The rate of discount that will make the present value of the expected cash inflows (both interest and principle) from the security exactly equal to the market price of the security.

  • Yield to Worst (YTW)

    A measure of the lowest possible yield an investor can receive when investing in a callable bond.

  • 451 Research

    451 Research is a technology research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence that provides data-driven insight that empowers technology and service providers, IT leaders, and financial professionals to capitalize on their market opportunity.

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  • Accounting Standards

    An accounting standard is a common set of principles, standards, and procedures that define the basis of financial accounting policies and practices. Accounting standards improve the transparency of financial reporting in all countries. In the United States, the generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) form the set of accounting standards widely accepted for preparing financial statements. International companies follow the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), which are set by the International Accounting Standards Board and serve as the guideline for non-U.S. GAAP companies reporting financial statements.

  • Aftermarket Research (AMR)

    Available to investment banks and corporates, reports from sell-side research analysts become available after a brief embargo period from publication. Our Aftermarket research collection – which features more than 32 million analyst research reports from 1,900+ global investment research providers – including top-ranked investment banks such as Citi, Credit Suisse, Barclays, UBS, J.P. Morgan, HSBC, and Deutsche Bank – provides unique insights, forecasts, and opinions, from sought-after industry experts to gain the essential insights you need.

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  • Anti-Money Laundering (AML)

    Anti-money laundering (AML) refers to the laws, regulations, and procedures intended to prevent criminals from disguising illegally obtained funds as legitimate income.

  • Application Programming Interface (API) Solution

    A software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other. The S&P Global Market Intelligence API Solutions, using Restful APIs, provides on-demand enterprise data access more securely and with fewer resources than traditional data feeds. Access a comprehensive list of financial and non-financial data sets allowing you to pick and choose the data you need without hosting a database. Developers can leverage secure web services to dynamically access S&P Global datasets, and curated third-party datasets, or can interact directly with the web services via REST/JSON.

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  • Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment (BICRA)

    The strengths and weaknesses of an economy and banking industry are critical factors that underpin the creditworthiness of a country's financial institutions. This analysis is distilled into a single BICRA score which makes up part of a credit rating.

  • Business Entity Cross Reference Service (BECRS)

    The S&P Global Market Intelligence Business Entity Cross Reference Service provides you immediate cross-reference capabilities for millions of public and private entities using standardized and proprietary identifiers. You can utilize Business Entity Cross Reference Service for timely and accurate data mapping to systematically update and maintain the multifaceted relationships with in a corporate hierarchy, avoiding the time consuming and costly endeavor of manually maintaining your own linkages for mapping entities to issuers.

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  • Carbon Earnings at Risk

    The Trucost Carbon Earnings at Risk dataset enables users to assess company-level exposure to current and future carbon pricing scenarios. Integral to this analysis is the calculation of the Unpriced Carbon Cost, which is defined as the difference between what a company pays for carbon today and what it may pay at a given future date based on its sector, operations, and under different climate change scenarios.

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  • Carbon Footprint

    The amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular individual, organization, or community. For most business activities, the largest proportion of the carbon footprint is concealed in supply chains or in the product use and disposal phase. Companies need to quantify carbon emissions across their value chains - including business operations, supply chains, product use and disposal. Financial institutions need to quantify carbon emissions linked to their capital allocation - it could be across companies in equity and debt portfolios or bank loan books, or investments in other asset classes such as infrastructure and real estate.

  • Climate Credit Analytics

    Climate Credit Analytics is a climate scenario analysis and credit analytics model suite. These tools combine S&P Global Market Intelligence’s data resources and credit analytics capabilities with Oliver Wyman’s climate scenario and stress-testing expertise.

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  • Collateralized Loan Obligation (CLO)

    A collateralized loan obligation (CLO) is a single security backed by a pool of debt. The process of pooling assets into a marketable security is called securitization. Collateralized loan obligations (CLO) are often backed by corporate loans with low credit ratings or loans taken out by private equity firms to conduct leveraged buyouts.

  • CreditModel™

    CreditModel™ is a powerful suite of over 100 statistical models, trained on credit ratings from S&P Global Ratings, help you evaluate the long-term creditworthiness of public and private, rated and unrated companies. Pre-scores available for over 182,000* companies worldwide.

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  • CreditPro®

    CreditPro provides a comprehensive picture of your credit risk exposures with access to authoritative default, transition and recovery data, and powerful database and analytic tools. Evaluate probabilities of default based on S&P Global Ratings default and ratings migration data. Integrate rating transition matrices, and default and recovery rates that are tailored to your portfolio in your credit risk assessments. Access credit loss information on 5,000+ defaulted bank loans and high yield bonds on 1,000+ public and private U.S. companies.

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  • Data Analytics

    Data analytics is the science of analyzing raw data to make conclusions about that information. Many of the techniques and processes of data analytics have been automated into mechanical processes and algorithms that work over raw data for human consumption.

  • ESG Score

    ESG Scores are built on a rules-based and quantitative assessment of companies’ tangible performance on key sustainability risks and opportunities (including controversies), the quality and completeness of their public disclosures, and their understanding of emerging, underreported ESG issues.

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  • IFRS 16

    IFRS 16 is an International Financial Reporting Standard promulgated by the International Accounting Standards Board providing guidance on accounting for leases. IFRS 16 was issued in January 2016 and is effective for most companies that report under IFRS since 1 January 2019.

  • Kensho

    Kensho is the AI and Innovation Hub for S&P Global. They develop cutting-edge technologies that transform businesses by pairing the latest advances in machine learning with the unparalleled breadth and depth of data at S&P Global.

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  • Marketplace

    S&P Global Marketplace sources, structures, links, and delivers best-in-class data for our clients. It provides premium fundamental and alternative datasets available seamlessly via Cloud, Data Feed and API Solutions, along with expert analysis.

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  • Mine Economics

    Our Mine Economics Model provides a powerful, transparent perspectives on mine cost analysis. Elevate your understanding of mine production cost drivers. Benchmark against global cost curves and conduct sensitivity analysis with our models to gain strategic insights.

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  • Panjiva

    Panjiva is a supply chain intelligence platform that brings transparency to global trade through robust global coverage, powerful machine-learning technologies, and dynamic data visualizations.

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  • Physical Risk

    Dangers that pose a threat to physical assets, including your buildings, equipment and people. Risks could be events such as heatwaves, cold waves, water stress, hurricanes, wildfires, flood and sea level rise. Trucost's Physical Risk dataset assesses company exposure to physical risk at the asset-level based on a database of over 2 Million + assets mapped to 15,000+ listed companies in the S&P Market Intelligence database.

  • Plug-In/Add-In

    Access the essential Microsoft Office add-in for heavy data lifting and customization. Create refreshable models, access pre-built templates, discover Excel screening, and more: all with one-click refreshing. That's the power of the S&P Capital IQ Pro Office Add-In.

  • Point in Time

    The specific date on which accountants present a financial statement. It can be the end of a specific period, such as a month, quarter or fiscal year. In contrast, some accounting reports span a time frame.

  • Portfolio Analytics

    Gain greater insight into your investment process and communicate the strengths behind your strategy. Streamline your investment process with S&P Global Market Intelligence and fuel your funds.

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  • Private Company Data (PCD)

    Any data that a non-listed company considers private to its business and includes business sensitive information, such as financial information or business operation data.

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  • ProSpread™

    A powerful workflow solution for automatically extracting and spreading data from financial statements using natural language processing combined with optical character recognition.

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  • Public Finance Automated Scoring Tool (PFAST)

    An automated municipal credit scoring and data solution. PFAST provides a granular, transparent, and consistent framework for the measurement and assessment of credit risk.

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  • Quality Program

    Accurate data for better decisions. Find discrepancies in our data and earn $50.

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  • Quantamental Research

    The S&P Global Quantamental Research group leverages the uniqueness and depth of S&P Global’s data and analytics offerings to: uncover actionable insights for investors and decision makers across a variety of business types, explore market anomalies for alpha generation to power your investment process, go beyond the quick overview analysis, by providing comprehensive detail, such as code snippets used to produce the research and help you generate new ideas and replicate the analysis in your own environment.

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  • Rate Filings

    Rate filing means any application, notice or other submission filed with or otherwise delivered to any Governmental Authority relating to the establishment of, or modification or supplement to, the rates, tariffs or charges for services or commodities provided by any Company Subsidiary.

  • RateWatch

    S&P Global's single source for US interest rate data and analytics, providing a robust bank deposit and loan rate database from 100,000+ institution locations dating back 20+ years.

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  • RatingsDirect®

    As the official source for S&P Global Ratings credit ratings and research, RatingsDirect® combines this essential intelligence with comprehensive market data, credit risk indicators and dynamic visualization tools, all on a single platform.

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  • RatingsXpress®

    Enhance your analysis with RatingsXpress®, one of the industry’s largest databases of current and historical credit ratings.

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  • Reference Data

    Data used to classify or categorize other data. Typically, they are static or slowly changing over time.

  • RiskGauge™

    RiskGauge Reports can streamline your counterparty credit risk assessment with comprehensive business credit reports for over 50 million companies, worldwide.

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  • Regulatory Research Associates (RRA)

    Regulatory Research Associates (RRA) is a S&P Global Market Intelligence group providing the leading authority on utility securities and regulation

  • S&P Capital IQ Pro

    A single platform for essential intelligence, the S&P Capital IQ Pro platform provides an unrivaled breadth and depth of data and research.

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  • Scorecards

    S&P Global Market Intelligence’s Credit Assessment Scorecards provide credit and investment management professionals with the essential tools to identify and manage potential default risks of private, publicly-traded, rated, and unrated companies and government entities, across a multitude of sectors.

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  • Scores and Factors

    Corporate scores, such as business risk profile and financial risk profile evaluations, and modifiers, such as capital structure and governance have long been constitution components of corporate criteria framework.

  • SNL

    SNL Financial merged with S&P Capital IQ to create S&P Global Market Intelligence in 2015.

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  • SNL Banker

    SNL Banker is a data warehouse and dashboard analytics solution designed to give U.S. community banks and credit unions greater visibility into finances and operations.

  • SNL Kagan

    A research arm of S&P Global Market Intelligence, providing expert coverage in the media and communications sector, including the broadcasting, cable, entertainment, motion picture, telecom, wireless, satellite, publishing, and new media industries.

  • Snowflake

    Thousands of customers deploy Snowflake Cloud Data Platform to derive all the insights from all their data by all their business users. Snowflake equips organizations with a single, integrated platform that offers the only data warehouse built for any cloud; instant, secure, and governed access to their entire network of data; and a core architecture to enable many other types of data workloads, such as developing modern data applications.

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  • Social Housing Providers and Associations Scorecard

    Closely monitoring the credit quality with S&P Global Market Intelligence Social Housing Provider and Association Scorecard provides a valuable framework for assessing credit risk, using measures that can affect the likelihood of default.

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  • Textual Data Analytics

    A sophisticated new data offering which applies Natural Language Processing to generate sentiment scores and behavioral metrics based on company transcripts. The Textual Data Analytics (TDA) dataset takes earnings calls transcripts one step further with sentiment and behavioral-based metrics rigorously researched and tested against frequently used quantitative strategies.

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  • Xpressfeed™

    S&P Global's powerful data feed management solution delivers data directly into your workflow. Xpressfeed capitalizes on the combined strengths of S&P Global and selects third-party vendors to power your proprietary analytics, financial portals, CRM systems, and more.

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