Astoria Financial Corp., Lake Success, N.Y., has announced that it will record an after-tax noncash impairment charge of $13.3 million in the fourth quarter to reduce the carrying amount of its investment in certain Freddie Mac preferred stock issues. The two issues of perpetual preferred stock, held in Astoria's available-for-sale securities portfolio, will be written down to their market value of $83 million as of Dec. 31, the company said. "The decision to reclassify the unrealized mark-to-market loss on these investment-grade securities to an other-than-temporary impairment charge is based on the significant decline in the market value of these securities caused by Freddie Mac's recently announced negative financial results, capital raising activity, and the unlikelihood of any near-term market value recovery," Astoria said. Astoria Financial, the holding company for Astoria Federal Savings and Loan Association, can be found online at http://www.astoriafederal.com.

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