Freddie Mac in profit boost

US government-run mortgage finance provider Freddie Mac last night said it earned $11bn (£7.25bn) last year, the first annual increase in its net income since 2006, the year the nation’s housing bubble peaked. The nation’s second-largest mortgage finance company said it had net income of $4.5bn in the quarter that ended 2012, after taking into account a $5.8bn payment it will make to the US Treasury.