U.S. mortgage giant Freddie Mac reports loss in third quarter   2010-11-03 23:07:02 FeedbackPrintRSS

The headquarters of mortgage lender Freddie Mac is seen in Mclean, Virginia, near Washington, in this September 8, 2008 file photo.  (Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)

WASHINGTON Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- Leading U.S. mortgage company Freddie Mac on Wednesday posted a net loss of 4.1 billion dollars after a dividend payment of 1.6 billion dollars to the U.S. government for the quarter ended Sept. 30.

The government-supported enterprise said the third-quarter loss attributable to common stockholders worked out to 1.25 dollars a share. It compared with a loss of 6 billion dollars, or 1.85 dollars per diluted common share, for the second quarter of 2010.

In the third quarter of 2009, it reported a loss of 6.7 billion dollars, or 2.06 dollars a share.

The mortgage buyer also asked for an additional 100 million dollars in federal aid, substantially less than the 1.8 billion dollars it sought in the second quarter.

The government bailed out Freddie Mac and sibling company Fannie Mae nearly two years ago to cover their losses on soured mortgage loans, and it estimates the bailouts will cost taxpayers up to 259 billion dollars.

The two mortgage giants were rescued by the U.S. government in fall of 2008 when the housing bubble burst, dragging the companies to the brink of collapse. The Treasury Department poured taxpayer's money into the two companies and the Federal Reserve had been keeping its key interest rate at historic low level since December 2008 in order to boost the housing sector.

However, the U.S. housing market is still in the woods.

"As we near the end of 2010, the housing market remains fragile, and has recently come under renewed pressure from slowing economic growth, weaker employment and foreclosure uncertainties," Freddie Mac CEO Charles Haldeman said in a statement. "We believe that it will be a considerable time until the housing market has a sustained recovery."

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Editor: yan
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