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All the companies on the stock market are represented by three characters.

Assuming 26 letters and 10 numbers, this results in 46656 possible combinations (unless my math is wrong), which is a lot of companies but not an impossible number.

What happens when all the possible combinations are taken? What happens if all the combinations that relate to the companies name is taken? Like if a company was called ABC and ABC was already taken, what could they possible change their code too since there are no other letters in their name? Would they use an unrelated character? eg. Company ABC Code ABX

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The 3-letter tickers are from a different era.... Nowadays the usage of tickers is more of a "legacy" tradition rather than a current necessity. As such they're no longer limited to 3 characters. And the characters don't have to be related to the actual name.

For example a company named Alphabet is trading on NASDAQ under the ticker "GOOGL". It has 5 characters, not 3, and (almost) none of them appear in the name of the company (used to, but not anymore).

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NYSE started allowing four letter tickers around 2009. NASDAQ allows 4-5 letter tickers. I guess they'll keep increasing when / if needed. Companies are allowed to change tickers, although there are costs. Tickers in the US are assigned through a single entity. Companies that are new need to take something that's open.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB124296050986346159

I see that you're in Australia, but, since there aren't really that many options to deal with the problem that you mentioned, I'd guess that you'll ultimately do the same. Not sure about how tickers are assigned there though.

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