Meanwhile, Fitch Ratings has downgraded the preferred stock rating of Freddie Mac from AA-minus to A-plus and removed it from Rating Watch Negative in the wake of Freddie's recent preferred stock offering.Fitch noted that it had placed the preferred stock rating on Rating Watch Negative in November, indicating that a downgrade was likely "if the amount of hybrid securities relative to total capital became more significant, resulting in higher loss absorption for preferred shareholders." The government-sponsored enterprise recently announced the pricing of $6 billion of fixed- to floating-rate, nonconvertible, noncumulative perpetual preferred stock, and the offering closed on Dec. 4.

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