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Volume 2015 - Number 19

May 22, 2015

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MBS Market Faces Liquidity, Demand Issues When the Fed Finally Decides on Exit Strategy

The mortgage market faces a big challenge when the Federal Reserve figures out how to unload its massive $1.7 trillion portfolio of agency MBS, but anticipated widening of spreads could at least improve market liquidity. The fixed-income market has seen a sharp decline in trading volume resulting in part from regulatory issues, said Mike Fratantoni, chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association, during the group’s annual secondary market conference in New York this week. “Banks have been hoarding liquidity instead of providing it to the market,” he said. Average daily trading volume of MBS has dropped...

Single-Security Is Years in the Distance as CSS Focuses On ‘Getting It Right,’ Bringing All Parties to the Table

Officials involved in the development of the common securitization platform and the single, interchangeable MBS for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have vowed not to publicize any timetable for the project. And despite several attempts to get an answer during a panel session at this week’s secondary market conference sponsored by the Mortgage Bankers Association, they stuck to their plan. They went out of their way to stress that they haven’t forgotten about potential non-agency users sometime down the road. But that’s...

MBS Trading Volume Hit a Yearly Low in April Despite Strong Issuance. Should the Market Worry?

In April, the average daily trading volume in agency MBS fell to $187.8 billion, the worst reading of the year and a possible harbinger of problems to come. One market participant, speaking under the condition his name not be used, likened it to MBS buyers “going on strike.” He added: “Right now, you have an illiquid market, and that’s not a good thing.” In December of last year, the MBS trading volume was...

Banks Show Preference for Ginnie Securities As They Increase MBS Holdings in Early 2015

Commercial banks and thrifts reported robust growth in their MBS portfolios during early 2015, including a special appetite for Ginnie Mae MBS, according to a new Inside MBS & ABS analysis of call-report data. Commercial banks and thrifts held $1.579 trillion of residential MBS at the end of March, a 2.6 percent increase from the previous quarter. It was the industry’s biggest MBS portfolio since the third quarter of 2012, when banks and thrifts held a record $1.617 trillion of mortgage securities. The biggest gain was...[Includes two data tables]

Senate Committee Passes GOP Regulatory Relief Bill, GSE Capital Requirements Amendment Withdrawn

The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee approved a Republican regulatory relief bill on a strictly partisan vote late this week, with all of the mortgage-finance provisions previously reported intact. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-PA, momentarily offered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac a “get out of jail free” card, in the form of an amendment addressing capital requirements for the two government-sponsored enterprises, then withdrew it, presumably for use at a future point in time. “This is...

Changes to Servicing Among the Many Reforms Sought By Investors Before Returning to Non-Agency MBS

Industry participants, both on their own and with help from the Treasury Department, continue to work on reforms to attract investors to buy new non-agency MBS. Servicing standards will likely play a key role in the reforms, though progress has been slow. The Structured Finance Industry Group published its first RMBS 3.0 “green paper” in August 2014 with a follow-up in November. The Treasury Department has been working with industry participants toward the issuance of a benchmark non-agency MBS since at least September 2014. Analysts at Fitch Ratings stressed...

Conduit Commercial MBS Issuance Lower than Expected Thus Far This Year, Investor Concerns Among Deterrents

Issuance of conduit commercial MBS has been significantly lower than expected this year, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Some of the expected volume appears to have shifted to single-asset deals, while a number of investor-related factors have also likely limited issuance. BAML expected $85.0 billion in conduit commercial MBS to be issued this year, a nearly 50 percent increase compared with 2014. However, just $23.0 billion in conduit commercial MBS had been issued this year through mid-May, suggesting that volume might stay level compared with 2014. A number of factors have shifted...

Nomura Considers Appeal of $805 Million Judgment, FHLBank Dismisses MBS Claims Against Some Banks

Nomura Holdings Inc. is mulling an appeal following last week’s court order that it, along with RBS Securities, pay Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac a total of $805.1 million to resolve claims arising from the pre-crisis sale of non-agency MBS to the government-sponsored enterprises. Judge Denise Cote of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York rendered the judgment May 11 after a three-week bench trial in which she found Nomura and RBS liable for the claims brought by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The MBS were backed by mortgages with an unpaid principal balance of about $2.05 billion at the time of purchase. Nomura and RBS, which underwrote four of the seven MBS deals at issue, provided...

MBS & ABS Issuance at a Glance

One page of issuance data.


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