Merrill Lynch has raised $2.65bn (£1.52bn) of equity to invest in Asian property.

The investment bank, which is being bought by Bank of America, said yesterday that it had raised the money from investors in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia for its Asian Real Estate Opportunity fund.

Tim Grady, managing director and head of Merrill Lynch Pacific Rim Global Commercial Real Estate, said: ‘We see exceptional opportunities in Asian real estate over the medium and longer term. As a longstanding and leading real estate investor in the region, the Asian Real Estate Opportunity Fund is a natural extension of our business.’

The fund will invest across the property sectors as well as in property companies. It will prioritise investments in Japan, China, South Korea and India. It will also buy in Australia and Southeast Asia.

Investors in the fund include pension funds, endowments and foundations and private individuals.