freddie mac takes first step....

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by marketsurfer, Jul 19, 2008.


    WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Freddie Mac won approval from regulators on Friday to sell the stock needed to overcome mounting losses, and the Wall Street Journal said the mortgage finance company may seek $10 billion.

    The approval clears the way for the company to fulfill its promise in May to raise $5.5 billion to bolster its balance sheet, allowing it to continue its support of the deflating U.S. housing market.

    Freddie Mac (FRE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in its filing said it expects to "take actions" to maintain its required capital, which has been eaten away by rising defaults among the trillions of dollars of mortgages that the company guarantees.

    A spokeswoman later said the company had no immediate plans to raise capital, reducing fears the company would mint a massive number of new shares and dilute existing shareholders.

    That helped send shares of Freddie Mac and rival Fannie Mae (FNM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) higher for a third straight day, climbing 12 percent and 23 percent, respectively.

    Lawmakers and regulators increasingly have come to rely on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to stabilize the worst U.S. housing downturn since the Great Depression by buying loans from lenders and providing a dependable source of mortgage finance.

    Investors have been concerned for weeks that the two companies would need expansive amounts of capital to offset burgeoning losses from delinquent borrowers and record foreclosures.

    "We continue to review and consider alternatives for managing our capital including issuing equity in amounts that could be substantial, reducing our common dividend and limiting the growth or reducing" portfolio investments, it said. Continued...