Investors have developed a hearty appetite for the debt issues of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as the Treasury has reduced its issuance of debt.
Both Fannie and Freddie have taken the opportunity to build their own yield curves with noncallable debt offerings. And last week Fannie extended its curve with a 30-year Benchmark bond.
Now Fannie Mae has two-, three-, five-, seven-, 10-, and 30-year securities outstanding in its Benchmark note and bond program. Freddie Mac has two-, three-, five-, and 10-year securities outstanding in its Reference Note program.
Both programs are providing investors with liquidity that is particularly important "when issuance of Treasury securities will be declining in relative importance," said Larry Hill, executive vice president for Investment Advisers Inc., a subsidiary of Lloyds TSB Group in Minneapolis.
Mr. Hill said he has invested primarily in government-sponsored enterprise securities with durations of 10 years and less. He said he did not participate in Fannie's latest 30-year bond offering because it was "overpriced relative to the outstanding paper."
One Wall Street trader said that his firm had pitched the idea for a 30- year note to Fannie Mae 10 months ago and was pleasantly surprised by the offering.
A 30-year bond will create a "full credit curve" that will probably aid in analysis of the debt market, he said.
But Fannie's market timing coincided with a downturn in the bond market. The $1.5 billion 30-year bond offering.
"It was priced at a time that was not good," said Edward I. O'Brien Jr., senior vice president and manager of government agency trading for Prudential Securities Inc. The price widened to 62 basis points above the 30-year Treasury bond, from 55 basis points.
Fannie Mae said it expects to bring at least two 30-year noncallable bonds to market, as either new issues or reopenings. Reopenings would have a minimum size of $500 million, and new issues would be at least $1 billion, said Linda Knight, senior vice president and treasurer at Fannie Mae.
Fannie has issued $22 billion in noncallable debt this year and has total debt outstanding of $70.92 billion.
Freddie has issued $36 billion of Reference Notes to date, including $16 billion this year. The full-year total is expected to be $40 billion, said Peter M. Horvath, director of debt marketing.
"Investors have told us that they like generically large issues," Mr. Horvath said. "We are trying to be as transparent and predictable as we can."
Product development also plays a role. This year Fannie and Freddie have brought to market callable debt programs that were meant to take advantage of patterns in Treasury issuance. Both companies rely on callable debt securities to fund their mortgage portfolios.