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Fortress Eyes Opportunity In Mortgage Mess

Fortress Investment Group (FIG) may aim to ramp up its investments in mortgage paper, which have starkly fallen out of favor on Wall Street.

The U.S.'s first publicly-traded alternative investment firm says it could step up its investment in residential asset-backed debt as the market dislocation subsides over the next two or three years.

"The next two years certainly we're going to be very focused on the entire residential and asset-back sector," said Co-President Peter Briger Jr., during the company's third-quarter earnings call. The Fortress executive said that he would not be surprised if the investment manager sought to raise additional funds "to go after those assets on a stand alone basis," but didn't elaborate further.

"At Fortress we don't like to bet the ranch, and lose the ranch," Briger later added. He also said the company doesn't like highly leveraged fixed-income investments.

Fortress stock jumped about 6.6% to $18.34 on the heels of Briger's comments.

The company's performance comes a day after private equity firm Blackstone Group (BX) reported a net loss of $113.2 million, or 44 cents a share, including costs of $802.6 million, mostly from compensation related to its June IPO. Blackstone, which has been pummeled in the market since going public, warned that it could record losses "for a number of years" related to its IPO.

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