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Brookfield Asset Management Inc. says it will spin off its asset management business into a separate publicly listed company.

Under the plan, the company says it will distribute a 25% stake in the new company to its shareholders by the end of this year as a first step, while it will initially retain a 75% interest.

Brookfield invests its own money as well as on behalf of clients, two businesses that it says are different in nature but work together well.

It says that, while it believes that each of these businesses has potential to grow further, to achieve this growth they should now be separated, while preserving the benefits of their complementary nature and alignment.

The move came as Brookfield, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, reported net income attributable to common shareholders of US$1.36 billion or 81 cents per share for the quarter ended March 31, up from US$1.24 billion or 77 cents per share a year ago.

Funds from operations totalled US$1.60 billion or 96 cents per share for the three months ended March 31, down from US$2.82 billion or US$1.80 per share in the same quarter last year.