Tesco has raised 18.4 billion baht (379 million pounds) from the listing of a property fund in Thailand, completing the country's largest market debut for six years and raising funds for the retailer's future expansion there.

Tesco said on Monday the initial public offering of its Tesco Lotus property fund was priced at 10.4 baht per unit, the top end of its offer range, confirming a Reuters report from March 3.

The fund is part of a growing trend among retailers to squeeze more value from their real estate assets. They bundle some of their supermarkets and shopping malls into a property fund and sell the fund units to investors, leasing back the property.

The Tesco Lotus fund comprises 17 shopping malls anchored by a Tesco Lotus hypermarket in cities including Bangkok and tourist destinations such as Krabi and Koh Samui. Tesco has said it plans to use proceeds of the IPO to fund future expansion in Thailand.

The IPO, Thailand's biggest since Rayong Refinery's $710 million (448.5 million pounds) offering in May 2006, received about $40 million in commitments from Capital Research and Management, a unit of U.S. fund manager The Capital Group Companies, according to the prospectus of the fund.

The deal was also the second largest equity offering in Asia in 2012 so far, behind the $794 million listing by China Communications Construction in Shanghai in February.

Tesco said the offering drew strong demand, with more than 10,000 retail investors taking part, and the institutional tranche of the offering around 15 times covered.

The fund, which will begin trading on the Thai stock exchange on March 19, will pay a yield of 6.5 percent a year, Tesco said.

The yield on the property fund, which is similar to a real estate investment trust, or REIT, helped to lure investors reeling from ongoing volatility in global markets and concerns over Europe's debt troubles.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch , Nomura Holdings Inc <8604.T>, Phatra Securities
and Royal Bank of Scotland managed the IPO.

Tesco shares were down 0.4 percent at 12:50 p.m.

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Jodie Ginsberg)