Fitch: U.S. GSE Status Quo Remains Likely as Financial Performance Stabilizes

CHICAGO--()--An unwinding or overhaul of U.S. government sponsored entities (GSEs) does not appear imminent as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's posted more stable financial performance in 2014, according to Fitch Ratings.

A number of factors indicate the status quo will prevail for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for now, including modest and more stable profits, success in risk-sharing deals and the new FHFA director's de-emphasis on reducing the GSE footprint.

'The current administration's recent budget analysis could be a harbinger for things to come for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,' says Bain Rumohr, Director. 'While there are still a number of details to be worked out, a debate about long-term profitability means conservatorship may continue to be the path forward over the near-to-medium term.'

Profits have been significantly boosted by a number of nonrecurring items in recent periods, including legal settlements and tax-related benefits. However, 2014 results were fairly representative of the GSEs' long-term profit potential as guarantee fees continues to climb in revenue share and on-balance-sheet mortgage portfolios shrink.

Fitch notes that efforts to offload credit risk to private investors have proven to be successful. Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have ramped up issuance of various risk-sharing transactions that encompass both their single-family and multifamily businesses. Fitch expects to see new flavors of risk-sharing structures in the coming quarters.

On April 21, 2015, Fitch affirmed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's ratings and maintained a Stable Rating Outlook. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's ratings are directly linked to the U.S. sovereign rating based on the U.S. government's direct financial support. The full report, 'U.S. Housing Finance GSEs - Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,' is available at www.fitchratings.com.

Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.

Applicable Criteria and Related Research: U.S. Housing Finance GSEs ¬タモ Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (Status Quo Prevails Amid More Stable Performance)

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Contacts

Fitch Ratings
Bain K. Rumohr, CFA
Director
+1-312-368-3153
Fitch Ratings, Inc.
70 West Madison St.
Chicago, IL 60602
or
Christopher Wolfe
Managing Director
+1-212-908-0771
or
Media Relations:
Alyssa Castelli, +1-212-908-0540
alyssa.castelli@fitchratings.com
Elizabeth Fogerty, +1-212-908-0526
elizabeth.fogerty@fitchratings.com

Contacts

Fitch Ratings
Bain K. Rumohr, CFA
Director
+1-312-368-3153
Fitch Ratings, Inc.
70 West Madison St.
Chicago, IL 60602
or
Christopher Wolfe
Managing Director
+1-212-908-0771
or
Media Relations:
Alyssa Castelli, +1-212-908-0540
alyssa.castelli@fitchratings.com
Elizabeth Fogerty, +1-212-908-0526
elizabeth.fogerty@fitchratings.com