These are testing times for any Kuwaiti bank or investment house. A country that had prided itself on a long track record of indigenous financial sector development has had its confidence shaken by the huge pressures exerted by the global crisis and the subsequent slide in oil prices.

The government has set a steely and almost ruthless tone in its handling of the situation, and some institutions will be feeling exposed. But KFH is not in this vulnerable position.

Like National Bank of Kuwait, it is a flagship finance house that, thanks to its size and track record of good management, has established itself among the most important banks in the Middle East. While real estate exposure will inevitably cause it some discomfort, at least in the short term, KFH has the liquidity, strength and a broad retail base in Kuwait, and key foreign Islamic finance markets, to ride out the downturn securely.