Freddie-"business as usual," foreign demand robust

NEW YORK, July 14 Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:06pm EDT

NEW YORK, July 14 (Reuters) - The response to Freddie Mac's $3 billion bill auction on Monday, seen by the market as a critical test of the U.S. home funding company's borrowing access, indicated "business as usual" and continued robust foreign demand, the company's Treasurer said on Monday.

The U.S. government on Sunday announced sweeping changes to restore market confidence after fears about capitalization at Freddie Mac FRE.N and Fannie Mae FNM.N pummeled their shares to 17-year lows last week.

Freddie Mac sells bills each week as part of routine financing of its operations. Its sale of bills early Monday was being scrutinized for clues about any changes to the company's ability to tap the debt markets.

"I would say it's business as usual, funding costs were in line, the investor base was in line, the bid to cover was higher than we've seen recently," Timothy Bitsberger, treasurer of the second-largest provider of U.S. home funding, told Reuters in a telephone interview. (Reporting by Lynn Adler; Editing by James Dalgleish; )