Aberdeen Property Investors is to increase its exposure in Eastern Europe by launching a Russian direct property fund.

The property division of Aberdeen Asset Management is to open an office in St Petersburg and recruit a team to manage the fund’s assets. It has appointed Baltic Property Trust, regional fund manager Ole Dall-Hansen, to head the team.

The fund will be aimed at institutional investors seeking opportunistic investments in Eastern Europe.

Rickard Backland, chief executive officer at Aberdeen Property Investors, said: ‘Local active management is core to our business and our decision to open an office in St Petersburg reflects our belief in the long term potential of the Russian property market.’