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Fannie Mae Portfolio Declines

WASHINGTON-The continuing drop in mortgage rates caused a plunge in the value of Fannie Mae's huge hedging portfolio, pushing net earnings down for the secondary mortgage market giant by 52% for the fourth quarter and by 22% for fiscal 2002. As a result, Fannie reported net income of $952 million, or 94 cents a share, for the fourth quarter, down from $1.9 billion, or $1.92 a share, for the same quarter in 2001, and a net of $4.6 billion, or $4.53 a share, for the year, down from $5.9 billion, or $5.72 a share, for 2001.

The lower earnings in the face of the record mortgage finance wave were caused by interest rate volatility which dragged mortgage rates to four-decade lows. This pushed Fannie's holdings of purchased options under water to the tune of $4.5 billion. At the same time, the company reported record total business volume of $848.9 billion for last year, including $371 billion in purchases for its portfolio and $478 billion in mortgage backed securities.

CO-OP Expands Into Publix

ONTARIO, Calif.-The CO-OP Network said Monday it has signed an agreement with Publix Corp. to provide surcharge-free access to CO-OP cardholders at 800 ATMs, most of them in Publix supermarkets in the southeast. The others are connected to the Publix-owned Presto! ATM network located in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee. CO-OP is the largest credit union-owned electronic funds transfer network, providing members of 1,200 credit unions with access to more than 15,000 ATMs in 49 states and Canada.

2 More CUs Paying Bonuses

LOWELL, Mass.-Jeanne D'Arc CU said it rewarded both savers and borrowers with $1.3 million in year-end bonuses. The bonuses were paid in five different ways: all savings account received a bonus dividend; all mortgage borrowers received $100 per loan; all home equity borrowers got $50; all consumer loan borrowers received $25; and all VISA Platinum and Gold members received a CashBack reward. It was the eighth year in a row the credit union paid a bonus dividend to savers and second straight year to borrowers.

Meanwhile, in Wichita, Kan., First Choice CU said it paid a 7% cash rebate on all interest paid on mortgage, auto and business loans. The largest payment was of $1,300. The $236-million credit union also paid a special dividend of 3% to regular share account holders.

Fleeing Suspects In Car Crash

WEST CARROLLTON, Ohio-Three suspects in last week's armed hold-up at River Valley CU were hospitalized after their getaway car slammed into a utility pole trying to elude police during a chase that reached almost 80 mph. The unidentified suspects remained hospitalized while police tried to sift through the evidence. The robbery occurred at around 4:15 pm when two men entered the credit union, at least one of whom brandished a handgun. One assailant leaped the teller counter and took cash from several tellers. They then led police on a high-speed chase before hitting a utility pole.

Navy To Build Call Center In Fla.

PENSACOLA, Fla.-Navy FCU agreed last week to buy 19 acres of land here from Escambia County to build the credit union's first remote in-bound call center. The 55,000 square-foot facility, will include a branch office in a new Escambia County Commerce Park and will employ as many as 500 people when completed. The credit union has also agreed to buy an adjacent 10 acres for future expansion. Groundbreaking is slated for March.

Gun Taken

FRESNO, Calif.- A security guard posted outside a Golden 1 CU branch was relieved of his gun after he walked inside and was surprised by an armed robber last week. The masked bandit ran out of the building after grabbing an undetermined amount of cash and fled with the guard's gun. No one was injured.

CU In Affordable Housing Venture

ATLANTA-The Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta awarded $4 million in affordable housing grants, including $2 million to a project in Arab, Ala., being financed by Redstone FCU. Funds will be used by the Huntsville Housing Developments, Inc., and RFCU to rehabilitate the 50-unit Hunters Landing apartment complex and a separate 24-unit complex. Both house low-income families.

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