Fannie Mae is looking to broaden its investor base.

The agency said in a release today that it had listed all of it risk-sharing deals on the Irish Stock Exchange and will continue doing so with future transactions.  

What is more, Fannie said it will retain enough credit risk in each deal to comply with the European Union’s risk retention rules.

The moves are an effort to draw more European buyers into the transactions under its Connecticut Avenue Securities label.

"Now that [these deals] are compliant, we are starting to see more participation and interest from European investors," said a spokeswoman for the agency by e-mail. "European investors see them as a good way to get broad exposure to the U.S. housing market."

CAS deals are a way for the agency to parcel out to other investors part of the credit risk it has taken on by insuring U.S. mortgages. Bondholders in these deals could lose money if the underlying borrowers in the referenced mortgages stop making payments.

A dearth of private label mortgage-backed issuance in the U.S. since the crisis has helped sustain the appetite among U.S. investors for CAS, as well as for risk-sharing deals from Freddie Mac.

The spokeswoman also pointed out that thanks to the European Central Bank's massive bond purchase program — which has pushed yields on many kinds of euro-denominated paper to negligible levels — European investors are looking for "alternative" investments. "We recently did a roadshow in London that was very well-received," she said.  





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