Fannie Mae paying back $59.4 billion

WASHINGTON — Bailed-out housing finance giant Fannie Mae said Thursday it would pay the U.S. government $59.4 billion after posting a record profit for the first three months of the year.

The fortunes of the company, which is 80 percent owned by taxpayers after being seized in 2008, have been lifted by the recovery in the housing market.

Fannie Mae reported an $8.1 billion profit for the January-March period, the best performance in its history, compared with a $2.7 billion profit a year earlier. As the value of the mortgages it owns or backs have increased, Fannie Mae's bottom line has improved.

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