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Saudi Arabia’s Fannie Mae buys up $800m of mortgages

Saudi Arabia’s Fannie Mae buys up $800m of mortgages

The refinancing company was established to buy home loans from banks and other finance companies, freeing up the lenders to book more mortgages

Saudi Arabia’s mortgage-refinancing firm has bought a portfolio of home loans worth more than SAR3bn ($800m) from the Public Pension Agency, as the kingdom’s equivalent of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the US steps up activity.

The Saudi Real Estate Refinance Co., established in late 2017 by the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, aims to deploy around SAR20bn before the end of the year, mostly by buying up mortgage portfolios from other lenders, it said in a statement.

The latest deal is the largest so far for the company, which had assets of about SAR2.25bn at the end of 2019.

Saudi citizens have complained for years about the availability and affordability of housing, and boosting home ownership is one of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s key goals.

The refinancing company was established to buy home loans from banks and other finance companies, freeing up the lenders to book more mortgages.

“The agreement provides the mortgage financing industry an opportunity to refinance their assets, that would otherwise be sitting in their books for a decade or two, by offloading mortgage portfolios,” Fabrice Susini, the company’s chief executive officer, said in the statement.

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