April 19, 2018 / 11:33 AM / in 4 months

Blackstone earnings drop 20 pct due to equity market slump

April 19 (Reuters) - Blackstone Group LP, the largest manager of alternative assets such as private equity and real estate, said on Thursday first-quarter earnings per share fell 20 percent year-on-year, as a stock market slump weighed on the value of its holdings.

New York-based Blackstone said it plans to pay a 30 cent special dividend in 2018, returning to shareholders a portion of the proceeds from the conclusion of its partnership with FS Investment Corp. The firm increased its share buy-back authorization to $1 billion from $335.8 million.

In January, Blackstone agreed to buy a majority stake in the Financial and Risk business of Thomson Reuters Corp , the parent company of Reuters News, in a $20 billion deal. Reuters News will remain part of Thomson Reuters. (Reporting by Joshua Franklin in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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