Freddie Mac added more than $12 billion in mortgage assets to its investment portfolio in August, while its issuance of guaranteed mortgage-backed securities fell slightly to the lowest level since December.At the end of August, Freddie's retained portfolio totaled $732.2 billion. Freddie's regulator recently raised its portfolio cap to $735.0 billion and $742.4 billion for the third and fourth quarters, respectively. The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight raised the cap, allowing Freddie greater flexibility in helping troubled subprime borrowers refinance their loans. Freddie's monthly activity report showed very little sales activity in its investment portfolio, which included $374.6 billion in Freddie-guaranteed MBS and $239.0 billion in private-label MBS. Portfolio liquidations are running at $12 billion to $15 billion a month. The secondary-market agency also reported the issuance of $35.3 billion in guaranteed MBS and structured securities in August, down slightly from $35.5 billion in July. Freddie Mac can be found online at http://www.freddiemac.com.

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