A British newspaper claims that Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan was heckled and harangued during a conference call with London bankers and bond holders on the Irish financial crisis.
The Daily Telegraph says the call had to be halted after Lenihan had been “jeered and subjected to abuse, including chimpanzee noises, during a botched conference call with over 200 investors on Friday.”
It stated that: "Lenihan had been speaking for less than two minutes on Friday before a mistake by Citigroup meant that the bank's clients were all able to be heard on the line."
The newspaper said they began to heckle Lenihan ferociously. “As he did his best to deliver his pitch, some traders began making what one banker on the call described as "chimp sounds", while another cried out "dive, dive."
A third man said: "Short Ireland," before adding: "Why not short Citi too?"
The paper says the call was ended at that point but later resumed after a Citibank apology.
However, Lenihan has denied the story to the Sunday Independent and stated that "Clearly the subordinated bond holders in Anglo and Irish Nationwide are angry and are hitting out through this form of journalism in sections of the London press."
"The Telegraph clearly did not listen to the call.
"A number of media organisations were on the call. None offered a similar analysis to the Telegraph, which was not on the call. At the end of the call, spreads on Irish bonds narrowed which indicated that the 200 investors on the call were reassured."