(Reuters) - Morgan Stanley's real estate unit, Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds, is looking to raise between $1 billion and $3 billion for a global property fund, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the discussions.

Morgan Stanley executives have begun talks with pension funds and other prospective investors, and are hoping that China Investment Corp will become an anchor investor, the Journal reported.

China Investment, a huge government-run fund, owns a 6.4 percent stake in Morgan Stanley, according to Reuters data.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, private funding in real estate has been dominated by private-equity companies such as Blackstone Group LP and Starwood Capital Group, which have raised billions of dollars to take advantage of improving property markets.

A Morgan Stanley executive declined to comment to the Wall Street Journal. The bank could not be reached by Reuters outside of regular business hours.

(Reporting By Maria Ajit Thomas in Bangalore; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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