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WASHINGTON–Mortgage finance company Fannie Mae (FNM0.4412, -0.0388, -8.08%) said Thursday it needs $15.2 billion in government aid to make up for losses from the slumping U.S. housing market.

The mortgage finance company, seized by federal regulators in September, posted a loss of $25.2 billion, or $4.47 per share, in the fourth quarter.That compares with a loss of $3.6 billion, or $3.80 a share, in the year-ago period.

Fannie’s net worth — the value of its assets minus the value of its liabilities — fell below zero at the end of the quarter, forcing the company to request funding from the government for the first time.

The Treasury Department, after seizing control of Fannie Mae and sibling company Freddie Mac (FRE0.4501,-0.0369, -7.58%) last fall, pledged up to $100 billion in aid for each company, the largest buyers and backers of U.S. home loans.

Last week, the Obama administration expanded that promise to $200 billion each — money that’s separate from the $700 billion financial industry rescue fund.


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