Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has reported a drop in third-quarter net profit – its first fall in quarterly profit since June 2007 – due to increased costs related to expansions in the Middle East and Asia. Net profit dropped to SAR3.01 billion (USD803.7 million) from SAR3.14 billion a year earlier. Operating revenues rose 58% to SAR13.54 billion while operating profit was up 20.5% at SAR4.2 billion. STC has won a licence to deploy Kuwait’s third national cellular network and also has interests in operations in Malaysia, Indonesia and India through its 25% stake in Malaysia’s Maxis Communications. In addition, it owns 35% of Dubai-based Oger Telecom which has telecoms operations in Turkey, South Africa, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Jordan, and it is among the bidders for a 25% stake in Oman’s dominant wireline and wireless operator Omantel.