Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing has demanded clarification from Lai Sun Development on why its shares were not suspended from trading before a formal announcement of its Asia Television stake disposal to Tom.com was made. Last night, the exchange issued a strongly worded statement saying the sale was a disclosable transaction and the listing rules required a proper announcement. 'Also, Lai Sun should have considered requesting the stock exchange to suspend the trading of its securities to avoid speculative price movements pending the formal announcement,' the exchange said. During the first 30 minutes of trading on Tuesday, Lai Sun's share price jumped 31.3 per cent to 15 HK cents before the exchange enforced a suspension at 10.39am. Its associate, eSun Holdings, was suspended from trading at 10.46am. Shares of Tom.com were suspended from trading before the market opened. Sources said the exchange was unhappy that Lai Sun chairman Lim Por-yen hosted a press conference at 10am on Tuesday to discuss the transaction but did not request a trading suspension. 'In most cases, pending a formal announcement, it will be necessary for the listed issuer to request a suspension in the trading of its securities,' the exchange said. Lai Sun group director Mark Li would not comment on why a suspension was not sought, only saying both sides of the transaction were not sure a deal could be reached that day. He said Tuesday's unexpected press report accelerated the negotiations and an agreement was reached in the evening.