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    Criimi Mae Inc.
    list rank

    From the April 28, 1997 Washington Post

    '96 (in $ 000s) % Change From '95
    Revenue 109,170 38.6
    Net Income 31,713 71.1
    Rank Last Year: 73

    Criimi Mae is a commercial mortgage company structured as a real estate investment trust. It invests in mortgages and mortgage-related securities that are used to finance apartments and other commercial properties. It also has expanded into mortgage origination, loan servicing and loan management. The company's name derives from CRI Inc., Criimi's former parent company, with which it still shares the same two top executives. The name is meant to resemble Fannie Mae and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac), the giants of the mortgage investment business. Unlike those firms, which were created by Congress, Criimi Mae is strictly a private-sector business.

    Business Resume:
    • Contact Info --
      11200 Rockville Pike
      Rockville, Md. 20852
    • Main Business --
      Real estate investment trust
    • Founded --
    • Chairperson --
      William B. Dockser
    • President --
      H. William Willoughby
    • Employees --
    • D.C.-Area Employees --
    Criimi Mae sharply increased its investments in commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) from $285 million to $564 million during 1996. These securities are riskier than the government-insured mortgages that used to fill the company's portfolio, but they also have paid higher returns.

    Wall Street packages commercial mortgages into pools to create CMBS investments. Criimi Mae buys the subordinated portion of these pools, so in the case of a default it would go to the rear of the line for repayment. To protect its investments, the company also acquires the loan servicing and management contracts for the pool, so it can ride herd on the borrowers to ensure they repay. During 1996 the company's loan-servicing portfolio rose from $1.9 billion to $6.4 billion.

    The company continued to hold $691 million in government-insured loans at year-end, down from $807 million at the end of 1995.

    In December Criimi Mae refinanced $142 million of its floating-rate debt to replace it with long-term fixed-rate financing in an attempt to reduce its vulnerability to interest rate shifts.

    As a real estate investment trust, Criimi Mae doesn't pay taxes on the corporate level; instead, it passes on most of its income directly to its shareholders as dividends. This tax-basis income, which the company considers its true bottom line instead of net income, rose to $1.27 per common share from 89 cents per share in 1995, an increase of 43 percent.

    Copyright 1997 The Washington Post

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