The PIMCO Total Return Fund is taking a heavier position in mortgage backed securities as the bond fund provider rebuilds its mortgage securities position.
According to industry sources and reports, the man who took over as a manager of the PIMCO Total Return Fund after Bill Gross jumped to Janus, Scott Mather, has been on a spree, snapping up government-backed bonds.
Mather has increased the PIMCO’s total mortgage allotment to almost one-third of a percent, to 30.3%.
That stood at 30% as recently as September.
“We expect many active alpha opportunities in the mortgage space,” Mather told Bloomberg.
However, the PIMCO Total Return ETF, an ETF version of PIMCO’s Total Return Fund, is still taking an underweight position to mortgage debt at 19%.
The ETF also has a lower weight toward U.S. government-related debt at 23.0% and a greater tilt toward U.S. corporate debt at 27%.
Mather, who worked as a mortgage bond specialist at Goldman Sachs Group, told Bloomberg the Total Return Fund had cut MBS allocations in anticipation of lower prices after the Federal Reserve slowed its bond purchasing program and considered hiking interest rates.
“It is relatively unusual for us to own as little agency MBS as we have had,” Mather said. “To some extent we have reduced our underweight by buying select agency mortgages.”