Ranieri pulls plug on nonagency MBS offering

|By:, SA News Editor

There's more evidence Fannie (FNMA +6.8%) and Freddie (FMCC +7.6%) aren't going anywhere anytime soon as Shellpoint Partners - led by mortgage kingpin Lew Ranieri - pulls a planned MBS offering for the 2nd time this month, citing soft demand. The company had restructured the bond issue - backed by jumbo residential mortgages - by removing some of the riskier loans in exchange for better agency ratings, but it still wasn't able to get the prices it wanted.

Issuance of nonagency paper had flown earlier this year, but has ground to a halt since interest rates began rising this spring. Additionally, Frannie has begun offering a new security more tied to credit than rates, thus sapping some demand for nonagency bonds.

Trying to break into the nonagency issuance market, PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust (PMT +0.2%) last month had to cut prices at least twice on its debut offering. Redwood Trust (RWT -0.6%) - which pretty much had the nonagency field to itself not long ago - has struggled mightily since the spring.