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Societe Generale to pay $122 million to resolve U.S. mortgage lawsuit

By Nate Raymond and Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - Societe Generale has agreed to pay $122 million to settle a lawsuit by a U.S. regulator accusing the bank of misleading Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the purchase of mortgage-backed securities. The settlement, announced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) on Thursday, marked the eighth to date by the FHFA, which in 2011 filed 18 lawsuits over some $200 billion in mortgage-backed securities that were at the heart of the 2008 financial crisis.

Freddie Mac reimburses US bailout on huge profit jump

Freddie Mac Thursday said its payments to the US Treasury have exceeded its 2008 US bailout funds as the US mortgage-finance giant notched a huge jump in earnings. But Freddie signaled that its meteoric earnings growth, a more than four-fold increase annually, is "not sustainable" long term, in part because of slowing home price gains.

Freddie Mac posts record profit, to surpass $71.3 billion bailout

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Freddie Mac <FMCC.OB> said on Thursday it will soon send the U.S. Treasury a $10.4 billion dividend after posting a ninth straight quarterly profit, putting taxpayers further into the black on their bailout of the mortgage giant. When it makes the payment next month, Freddie Mac will have paid about $81.8 billion in dividends, more than the $71.3 billion it received from the Treasury when it was bailed out during the financial crisis.

US sales of new homes jump 9.6 per cent in January to fastest pace in more than 5 years

WASHINGTON - U.S. sales of new homes rebounded in January to the fastest pace in more than five years, offering hopes that housing could be regaining momentum after a slowdown last year caused by rising interest rates. Sales of new homes increased 9.6 per cent in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 468,000, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. That was the fastest pace since July 2008.

Corporate lending growth slows in Q4

SEOUL, Feb. 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korean financial firms' corporate loans grew by the smallest amount in one year in the fourth quarter of last year as demand from manufacturers and builders declined, the central bank said Wednesday. Corporate lending by banks and non-bank institutions stood at 827.8 trillion won (US$771.5 billion) as of end-December, up 2.1 trillion won from three months earlier, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). The fourth-quarter data marked the smallest increase since the fourth quarter of 2012 when such lending declined by 7.8 trillion won.

S. Korea's household credit hits record high in Q4

SEOUL, Feb. 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's household credit rose to a fresh high in the fourth quarter, with its growth accelerating from three months earlier on a sharp rise in mortgage lending, the central bank said Tuesday. Household credit totaled 1,021 trillion won (US$954 billion) as of end-December, up 27.7 trillion won from three months earlier, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). Household credit refers to credit purchases and loans for households that have been extended by financial institutions, including commercial lenders and mutual savings banks.

S. Korea's household credit hits record high in Q4

SEOUL, Feb. 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's household credit rose to a fresh high in the fourth quarter, with its growth accelerating from three months earlier on a sharp rise in mortgage lending, the central bank said Tuesday. Household credit totaled 1,021 trillion won (US$954 billion) as of end-December, up 27.7 trillion won from three months earlier, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). Household credit refers to credit purchases and loans for households that have been extended by financial institutions, including commercial lenders and mutual savings banks.

Fannie Mae profits push taxpayers into black on housing bailout

By Margaret Chadbourn WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Fannie Mae said on Friday it would soon send the U.S. Treasury $7.2 billion, a profit-related dividend that makes taxpayers whole for the 2008 bailout of the mortgage-financing giant and its sibling company Freddie Mac. Unlike other companies rescued by taxpayers during the financial crisis, however, the firms will remain under government control until Congress winds them down or replaces them.

Investors park money at short-term funds

SEOUL, Feb. 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korean investors are pouring more money into short-term investment vehicles this year as they find few viable destinations to park their money amid low interest rates and volatile market conditions, data showed Tuesday. The net asset value of money market funds (MMFs) stood at 84.9 trillion won (US$80 billion) as of Friday, compared with 73.2 trillion won at the end of last month, according to the data compiled by the Korea Financial Investment Association (KOFIA).

Money fund assets increase $8 billion to $2.713 trillion for the week

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Total U.S. money market mutual fund assets rose $8 billion to $2.713 trillion for the week that ended Wednesday, according to the Investment Company Institute. Assets in the nation's retail money market mutual funds fell $110 million to $922.6 billion, the Washington-based mutual fund trade group said Thursday. Assets of taxable money market funds in the retail category rose $680 million to $727.6 billion. Tax-exempt retail fund assets fell $790 million to $195 billion.
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