July 18 (Reuters) - Mortgage giant Freddie Mac FRE.N is considering raising capital by selling as much as $10 billion in new shares to investors, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The main buyers for any new-stock issues are likely to be existing shareholders worldwide, the paper said, citing one person involved in the discussion.
A definitive plan has not yet been determined, the person told the paper.
Shares of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae FNM.N, the two pillars of the U.S. housing market, have taken a beating this year as the companies face mounting losses due to delinquent borrowers, rising foreclosures and pressure to increase their exposure to the mortgage market as a way of stabilizing housing.
The U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve have announced a plan to shore up Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae balance sheets and borrowing capabilities, and helped shore up investor confidence.
Together, the companies own or guarantee more than $5 trillion in U.S. mortgages. They have lost more than $11 billion since June, and have predicted more losses to come. (Reporting by Pratish Narayanan in Bangalore; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)