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FHFA Directs Fannie, Freddie to Delist Stock from NYSE

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The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), acting as conservator, directed Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) to de-list their common and preferred stock from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and any other national securities exchange. The price of the government-sponsored enterprises' (GSEs') common stock hovered near the NYSE minimum average closing price of $1 for more than 30 days for most months since the conservatorship took effect in September 2008, FHFA said in a statement today. Most recently, Fannie's closing stock price remained below the required $1 for the past 30 trading days. Fannie said in an e-mailed statement today it received notification from the NYSE on Tuesday that the company no longer met the continued listing standards. According to NYSE rules, Fannie is now in a condition that requires either a delisting from the exchange or a "cure" to restore the stock price above the $1 mark. But the alternatives to pursue such a cure, FHFA noted, would not guarantee the minimum price level can be maintained in the near-term. Because Freddie's share price has kept close to the $1 mark -- and in light of the GSEs' similar conservatorship status -- FHFA decided to initiate the delisting process. "A voluntary delisting at this time simply makes sense and fits with the goal of a conservatorship to preserve and conserve assets," said FHFA acting director Edward DeMarco, in a statement. DeMarco noted the action "does not constitute any reflection on either Enterprise's current performance or future direction, nor does delisting imply any other findings or determination on the part of FHFA as regulator or conservator." Once delisted, Fannie and Freddie stock is expected to be quoted on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB). Write to Diana Golobay. Disclosure: the author holds no relevant investments.

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