Norway has announced it has dumped its ENTIRE US MBS portfolio- $9 Billion worth of mortgage-backed securities issued by Fannie and Freddie!
We now know why Fed members have suddenly begun advocating The Fed purchase mortgage-backed-securities directly for QE3- because Europe is liquidating their holdings!
Norway’s $570 billion sovereign wealth fund sold all its holdings in U.S. mortgage-backed securities as part of a shift of its fixed-income portfolio.
The fund holds no mortgage bonds issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the U.S.-controlled mortgage financiers, and an “insignificant” amount of private home loan-backed bonds, said Yngve Slyngstad, chief executive officer of Norges Bank Investment Management, today in an interview in Oslo.
“We’ve reduced our holdings of mortgage-backed securities,” he said. “MBS has been taken out of our internal policy benchmark. This means that we don’t have mortgage-backed securities issued by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae any longer.”
The debt was sold primarily because of the refinancing risk, he said. In the U.S., when a borrower refinances a mortgage it can cut short the maturity of the bond backed by the loan and reduce the expected interest over time, so-called prepayment risk. The fund held 36 billion kroner ($6.6 billion) in bonds from Fannie Mae at the end of the second quarter and 11.5 billion kroner from Freddie Mac at the start of the year.