Rouble better bet than dollar: Merrill Lynch

Leading global investment bank Merrill Lynch is advising investors to buy the Russian rouble rather than the U.S. dollar.

In a research report published this week, Merrill Lynch predicts the rouble will gain more than 6 per cent against the dollar by the end of March.

The bank's forecast assumes that Russia's Central Bank will start letting the rouble appreciate strongly, in a move to combat inflation.

Russia's inflation rate was 11.9 per cent in 2007, and this year it reached nearly 2.5 per cent in January alone.