The board of the National Commercial Bank (NCB), Libya's second largest lender by asset size, has written an open letter denying that it has sold shares to another bank.

The bank published the letter, which was addressed to its employees, on its website in early February.

It said that rumours claiming that the board had sold shares to the Arab Banking Corporation (ABC) were "completely false".

ABC is headquartered in Bahrain and has branches around the Middle East and North Africa, including one in Tripoli. It is majority-owned by the Libyan government through the Central Bank of Libya, whose governor, Sadiq al-Kabeer, is also the chairman of ABC.

The letter said that the board had discussed "this issue" during a meeting in June 2012, and had "apologised" to ABC. It said the board had "renewed its rejection" during another meeting on 30 December.

It said that the most recent board meeting, held on 27 January 2013, did not include any discussion of selling shares to ABC.

The letter asks all employees "not to talk about this subject" and to act responsibly in order to preserve the reputation of the bank. 

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