Bank Muscat says looking at options to recover card fraud money


Bank Muscat , Oman's largest lender, is looking at options to recover the $39 million it lost in a pre-paid card fraud, it said on Sunday, after U.S. authorities brought to light a $45 million global cyber heist this week.

Bank Muscat, had reported in February that its pre-paid travel cards were hit by fraud, forcing it to take a 15 million rial ($39.0 million) loss provision.

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"Bank Muscat is aware from press reports that a number of arrests in different jurisdictions have taken place in relation to the prepaid debit card fraud incident which we disclosed on February 25 and 26," it said in a brief statement to the stock exchange.

"We reiterate that we are exploring all avenues of recovery so as to protect shareholder interests and will advise the markets accordingly if there are any material developments in this regard."

U.S. prosecutors said on Thursday that hackers broke into two card processing companies, raising the balances and withdrawal limits on accounts that were then exploited in coordinated ATM withdrawals around the world.

($1 = 0.3850 Omani rials)

(Reporting by Dinesh Nair; Editing by Andrew Torchia)