New Residential is selling $6 billion of nonagency debt

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New Residential Investment, a real estate investment trust focused on housing, is selling a portfolio of debt with a face value of $6 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The real estate investment trust, managed by an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group, has been selling the non-agency debt over the past week to a range of institutional investors, with the transactions expected to be finalized Tuesday, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the deals are private. A New Residential representative declined to comment.

The loans were sold at a discount, said one of the people. The exact pricing couldn't immediately be learned. New Residential, which has seen its stock sink more than 65% this year, has a market value of about $2.2 billion. Earlier Tuesday, the New York-based REIT said it would cut its quarterly dividend 90% to preserve liquidity.

The U.S. mortgage market has been roiled by the coronavirus pandemic, leading firms to quickly unload billions of dollars in mortgage-backed securities to meet investor redemptions and manage liquidity issues. While the Federal Reserve is buying up mortgage debt, the effort is focused on securities consisting of so-called agency loans that were created with help from the federal government, which is different from New Residential's non-agency debt.

"Conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic have greatly impacted the mortgage REIT industry," Chief Executive Officer Michael Nierenberg said in a statement. "Market dislocations have put significant downward pressure on asset values. In light of these events, we have made a number of decisions to de-risk, increase liquidity and protect our book value. We continue to focus on growing liquidity as we navigate the market during this time."

The company said its book value has declined about 25% to 30% since the end of last year.

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Private-label MBS Qualified Mortgages New Residential Investment Corp. Fortress Investment Group Earnings Coronavirus