Mortgage giant Freddie Mac swings to $11 billion profit

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, March 1, 2013 7:05 EDT
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A "sale pending" sign is posted in front of a home in San Rafael, California in November 2011. Sales of previously owned homes in the United States surged five percent in December from November, industry data showed Friday, in a report that pointed to recovery in the housing market. (AFP Photo/Justin Sullivan)
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US mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac has posted an $11 billion annual profit for 2012, compared to a loss of $5.3 billion a year earlier.

The government-controlled company, bailed out during the 2008 financial crisis, also reported $4.5 billion in net income for the fourth quarter of last year, up from $2.9 billion in the third quarter.

“It’s clear from our earnings that the housing market has turned a corner and that our work to minimize legacy losses and build a strong new book of business is paying off,” Freddie Mac chief executive Donald Layton said in a statement Thursday.

Provision for credit losses for 2012 fell to $1.9 billion from $10.7 billion for 2011, the company said.

“The improvement in both the fourth quarter and full-year 2012 is driven by a decrease in the volume of newly delinquent single-family loans and the positive impact of increased national home prices,” it said.

Freddie Mac and sister institution Fannie Mae were rescued by the government from the brink of bankruptcy in September 2008 after the housing bubble collapsed.

The two were put under government control as their home-loan losses surged and given a $180 billion bailout.

Freddie Mac said that, through December 31, it had paid $23.8 billion in cash dividends to the US Treasury.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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