Kai Ming Investment Co rose sharply yesterday after its controlling shareholder sold a slab of shares to ensure that the company complied with listing rules. The property investment company soared 11.8 per cent, or 85 cents, to $8.05 amid a speculative flurry unleashed after Pelota Worldwide sold 10.16 million shares, or 22 per cent of the company's issued share capital. Pelota, a private investment firm, placed the shares to abide by a Hong Kong stock exchange rule that at least 25 per cent of a listed company be in public hands. The shares were placed at $7.35 each, a premium of 2.08 per cent. The deal was worth nearly $75 million. Trading in Kai Ming was suspended on March 20 after the exchange determined that not enough of the shares were held by the public. Kai Ming was one of the most heavily traded stocks, with 11.22 million shares changing hands. Turnover was $82.93 million. Kai Ming said the shares had been sold to investors not connected with either firm. Pelota had made an unconditional cash offer in February for all of Kai Ming's issued shares, after which 8.67 per cent of the shares remained in public hands. Low Kok-keong, dealer at Dao Heng Securities, said the price rise was mainly due to speculative activity.