Fed’s Net MBS Purchases Top $741bn: Barclays

The Federal Reserve purchased $27.06bn worth of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) from Fannie Mae (FNM) Freddie Mac (FRE) and Ginnie Mae and sold nearly $6.7bn during the week of August 5 to 12, according to Barclays Capital‘s “Fed Agency MBS Purchases” weekly report. The Fed has purchased nearly $1.1trn and sold more than $356bn MBS since the beginning of 2009 in its effort to “provide support to mortgage lending and housing markets and to improve overall conditions in private credit markets,” the Federal Open Market Committee said. The Fed’s purchases net of sales so far totals $741.6bn in MBS. Fannie MBS represent nearly 58% of that share, with Freddie accounting for 34% and Ginnie accounting for the remaining 8%. The majority — 97.3% — of the securities bear 30-year maturities. About 52% of all securities the Fed currently holds have a 4.5 coupon. The Fed is on target to purchase $1.25trn of agency MBS and up to $200bn of agency debt by the end of 2009. In addition, the FOMC said the Fed is in the process of buying $300bn of Treasury securities. The FOMC said its decided to slow the pace of the transactions to “promote a smooth transition in markets,” and plans to have the full amount purchased by the end of October. Write to Austin Kilgore.

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