WASHINGTON, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- U.S. mortgage giant Freddie Mac on Thursday posted a record annual profit of 48.7 U.S. billion dollars for 2013, boosted by a strong rebound in U.S. home prices and a reduction in the company's loan loss provisions.
The government-sponsored enterprise said it would pay a dividend of 10.4 billion dollars to the U.S. Treasury next month, after reporting a net income of 8.6 billion dollars for the fourth quarter of 2013, its ninth consecutive quarterly profit.
Including this payment, Freddie Mac will have paid a total of 81.8 billion dollars in dividends to the U.S. Treasury, surpassing the bailout of 71.3 billion dollars it received during the financial crisis.
U.S. mortgage giant Fannie Mae also said last week that it would pay a total of 121.1 billion dollars in dividends to the U.S. Treasury next month, higher than the 116.1 billion-dollar bailout it had received since 2008.
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were put under conservatorship by the U.S. government after suffering heavy losses from the collapse of the subprime mortgage market in 2008.
Now the two companies have returned to profit due to a gradual recovery in the housing market. The milestone might fuel debates on how to wind down Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in the next few years.
U.S. President Barack Obama has proposed a broad overhaul of the U.S. mortgage finance system to reduce the government's role and allow private capital to be the backbone of the housing market.
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae own or guarantee about half of all mortgages in the United States, or nearly 31 million home loans. Along with other federal agencies, they backed nearly 90 percent of new mortgages over the past few years.