Bonds News

Fannie Mae portfolio shrank in January, delinquencies jump

NEW YORK, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Fannie Mae FNM.PFNM.N, the largest U.S. home funding company, on Friday said its mortgage portfolio declined in January, while delinquencies on loans it guarantees accelerated.

The delinquency rate on conventional single-family mortgages jumped 0.29 percentage point in December to 2.42 percent, the Washington-based company said in its January monthly summary.

That is up sharply from where it stood in January 2008, when the delinquency rate was at 1.06 percent.

Fannie Mae also said its mortgage portfolio declined at a 2.6 percent annualized rate in January to $785.5 billion.

President Barack Obama last week announced a housing rescue plan that heavily relies on government-controlled Freddie Mac and its sibling, Fannie Mae, to stabilize the housing market that is in its worst downturn since the Great Depression.

Under the plan, the companies can expand their portfolios to $900 billion, from a previous cap of $850 billion, in 2009. The government also doubled its capital pledge for each of the companies to $200 billion. (Reporting by Julie Haviv; Editing by Dan Grebler)