German industrial giant Siemens is planning a rival offer for Frenchengineering group Alstom, which is being pursued by General Electric, a sourceclose to the deal said Saturday."Siemens is preparing an offer," said the source, the day before GE's chief executiveis due to arrive in Paris for talks with senior government officials about its
potential bid.Shares in Alstom were suspended from trading on Friday amid press reports that GEwas preparing to make a $13 billion (9.4 billion euro) takeover bid for the Frenchengineering group's power plants, lines and renewable energy operations.Alstom, a highly politically sensitive symbol of engineering prowess in France andan important exporter, is facing financial pressures and its shares have fallenheavily in the last year.The rumours drew a terse response from Paris, which last week unveiled newreforms to cut its budget deficit and boost flagging French growth."Alstom is the symbol of our industrial power and French ingenuity," EconomyMinister Arnaud Montebourg was quoted as saying in the French press, referring toits main activities of building power stations and the French TGV high-speed train.GE's chief executive Jeffrey Immelt is due to hold talks with Montebourg and Prime
Minister Manuel Valls on Sunday, according to several sources.France's government wants to obtain guarantees on "jobs, the location of activitiesand energy independence", said President Francois Hollande's office.