Fund Mulls Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

The country will buy Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonds through its sovereign wealth funds, the Finance Ministry said Thursday.

The ministry allowed the investment of money from the Reserve Fund and National Welfare Fund into 15 government bonds from the United States, Britain, Germany, France, Austria, Canada and the Netherlands, including those of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two of the largest sellers of agency debt, a spokeswoman for the ministry said.

The list included bonds issued by France's Dexia Group and Britain's Network Rail MTN Finance.

Sovereign funds have invested at least $59 billion in the past year to shore up the balance sheets of such Wall Street banks as Citigroup, the biggest U.S. bank, and Merrill Lynch, prompting U.S. legislators to call for more openness.

"There is no basis for suspicions," deputy chief of the ministry's international finance department, Pyotr Kazakevich, said Jan. 31.

n Americans are wary of foreign governments buying stakes in U.S. companies such as banks and technology firms, according to a poll.

By a 2-to-1 margin, those surveyed said purchases of U.S. companies by sovereign wealth funds had a negative effect on the economy, according to a poll by Public Strategies.