Industry News

Freddie Mac loses $550 million in third quarter

Losses from interest-rate declines expected to continue into Q4

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Mortgage repurchaser Freddie Mac posted $550 million in losses in the third quarter, and expects to remain in the red during the fourth quarter, the company said today. The losses were attributed to a decline in long-term interest rates, which reversed gains the company made in the first half of the year on derivatives and credit-guarantee assets the company holds to manage risk. But Freddie Mac officials say the company's mortgage credit risk remains low, and that residential mortgage debt outstanding should continue to grow in 2007. During the third quarter, the company's credit guarantee portfolio grew at an annualized rate of 11 percent, to $1.5 trillion at the end of November, a 43 percent share of the market for government-sponsored enterprise mortgage securitizations. That compares with 45 percent for the same period in 2005 and 41 percent in 2004. Freddie Mac's retained portfolio, which remains subject to a voluntary cap, decreased slightly to $704 billion. The governme...