Freddie Mac seeks further $10.6bn in US aid

Freddie Mac headquarters This is not the first request for aid that Freddie Mac has made

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US mortgage giant Freddie Mac saw a loss of $8bn (£5.3bn) in the first three months of 2010 and said it would ask for a further $10.6bn in state aid.

The firm has made a number of federal cash requests since it was taken over by regulators in September 2008.

And it said it would continue to need government funds with the US housing market not yet fully recovered.

The new request brings the total cost for rescuing Freddie Mac to $61.3bn.

'Fragile'

Freddie Mac hit trouble during the American property boom, when many higher risk - or sub-prime - loans were made which were not repaid.

The recession also resulted in reliable homeowners with good credit defaulting on payments.

The latest $8bn loss was $6.7bn before adding a $1.3bn dividend payment on senior preferred shares owned by the US Treasury.

On Wednesday chief executive Charles Haldeman said the firm was looking to beef up its underwriting standards and improve credit quality.

"Though more needs to be done, we are seeing some signs of stabilisation in the housing market, including house prices and sales in some key geographic areas," Mr Haldeman said in a statement.

"But as we have noted for many months now, housing in America remains fragile with historically high delinquency and foreclosure levels, and high unemployment among the key risks."

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