The Blackstone Group, an investment and advisory firm, has concluded an agreement to manage more than $2bn Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Asian real estate assets and to act as the new general partner for the Merrill Lynch Asian Real Estate Opportunity Fund.

The combined Merrill Lynch portfolio consists of assets geographically spread across Asia, with the substantial majority located in four markets: Japan, China, India and South Korea.

Most of the current Merrill Lynch Asia real estate team has agreed to join the Blackstone real estate group.

Blackstone real estate group co-heads Jonathan Gray and Chad Pike said:this transaction gives Blackstone a substantially larger platform to continue to bring success to its limited partners in a region where the company can see major growth going forward.

Since acquiring Merrill Lynch, Bank of America has made the decision that the Merrill Lynch real estate assets in Asia are not core to its strategy for the region. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.