The regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Thursday morning said it is directing the troubled GSEs to move the trading of their stocks to the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board market while declining to answer questions about a reverse stock split.
"We're not getting into that," said a Federal Housing Finance Agency spokeswoman when asked why the regulator didn't direct the two mortgage giants to declare a reverse stock split. Firms listed on the 'Pink Sheets' market are not required to file any financial statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Fannie is in violation of a New York Stock Exchange requirement mandating a publicly traded firm to maintain a minimum average closing price of $1 for 30 days. In a statement FHFA noted that Freddie's share price "is close to the $1 mark." Agency chief Edward DeMarco cautioned that FHFA's "determination to direct each company to delist 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."
Since being taken over by the government in September 2008, Fannie and Freddie continue to lose money. To date, the two have required $140 billion of assistance from the Treasury to maintain their net worth positions above zero. Over the past 52-weeks Fannie's share price has ranged from a low of 51 cents to a high of $2.13. Freddie's 52-week low is 53 cents, its high $2.50.