HOUSE of Fraser is to expand into Russia under plans revealed by the Chinese tycoon behind the department store's recent takeover.

Yuan Yafei, chairman of Sanpower, said he would open four franchise stores in Russia and two in Abu Dhabi over the next two to three years, as well as a flagship "Oriental Fraser" store in Nanjing, where the conglomerate is based, next year.

It has already emerged that the 165-year-old business, which was founded in Glasgow, could nearly double its number of sites by opening up to 50 branches in China over the next few years following the takeover deal, which valued the business at £480 million.

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The latest plan has shed further light on Sanpower's global ambitions, after it said it wanted to exploit what it called the "iconic heritage brand" with a programme of international expansion.

House of Fraser has 60 sites in the UK and Ireland, and already has one franchise store in Abu Dhabi, which opened last year.

Mr Yuan said he planned to inject money into its UK operations to renovate its stores, but intended to leave its management team in place, adding: "They are very professional; I trust them and they trust me."

The department store has its origins as a small drapery store in Glasgow.