It is important for Kuwait’s economy that local banks are involved in financing the country’s major planned development projects, says Tom Lind, senior adviser and head of corporate finance at Kuwait’s Gulf Bank.

“Local lenders are part of the economic environment and should participate in these projects,” said Lind, speaking at MEED’s Kuwait Energy and Infrastructure Projects 2012 conference on 5 November. “The project financing market should be a mix of local and international banks.”

Lind also points to the importance of local banks setting up specialised project finance departments.

“Local bank knowledge of Kuwait’s projects market is minimal,” said Lind. “It is important that they get specialised teams to handle project financing, the same as international banks.”

“Gulf Bank is one of the few lenders that have a dedicated project finance department, and it is paying off,” said Lind.

Gulf Bank announced in September that it had been selected as lead manager to assist in the financing of two energy projects in Kuwait worth a combined total of $2bn.