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The last time I wrote about Starwood Property Trust (STWD), I noted that this REIT was "head-and-shoulders above the rest of the commercial mortgage REIT pack." Since that time a couple of major players in the financial industry have also noticed the opportunity in the commercial mortgage space. Both Annaly Capital Management (NLY) and Blackstone Group (BX) have greatly increased their commercial real estate lending operations.

The New Competition

Since going public in 2009, Starwood Property Trust has built itself into a major player in commercial real estate lending. As the company notes in its presentations, Starwood Property filled a market need when many traditional lenders exited out of commercial...

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