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WASHINGTON, DC-The Mortgage Bankers Association recently released its second-quarter survey of companies that service commercial mortgage-backed securities, and Midland Loan Services was the leading firm with a portfolio of $45.1 billion as of June 30. First Union Securities landed second place, servicing a portfolio of $38.6 billion of CMBS. And they are followed by ORIX Real Estate Capital Markets with a $29.6 billion CMBS servicing portfolio.

The data is skewed, however, and may not reflect the true health of the industry. CMBS leader, GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corp. decided not to participate in the quarterly research effort. In a statement, MBA said GMAC has publicly reported a total servicing portfolio of $107.7 billion.

The strength is a long way from 1998, where financial crises with a hedge fund and in Asia and Russia decimated the market for CMBS, something perhaps foreshadowing the disintegration of the tech sector. Already, GMAC has outpaced its performance for all of 2000. It did participate in a survey the association conducted earlier in the year, which concluded that company led the industry with a portfolio of about $90.5 billion. Analysts have said the sector remains strong because it outperforms other benchmarks. CMBS have often been tracked by the 10-year treasury bond, and experts say there is no more liquid investment on the debt side other than bonds.

The other six firms that participated in the survey are CapMark Services, Wells Fargo Bank, GE Capital Loan Services, Chase Manhattan Bank, Pacific Life and Key Commercial. Among all these firms, Midland also had the largest total master and primary servicing portfolio at $62.3 billion, followed by CapMark Services with $46.1 billion. First Union was third in this category with volume of $42 billion.

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